In the 2018-2019 school year, the CHS drama department put on Macbeth and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Now, they are putting on a play to raise money to help defeat cancer. It is called “After This Episode” and it was written by a cancer survivor just for the CHS drama department.
This is not their first play to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but they usually they have put it on in the fall, so it could be near the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s “light the night”. Junior Sierra Mellor says “I think it is amazing they are putting on this play to help bring awareness to cancer and to help people from the ticket sales.”
Mr. Kelly put this project together a couple of years ago with the parent of Kylee Shafiuzzaman, who works with Compass Oncology, a local business that helps out with treatment for cancer patients. Mr. Kelly wanted to show the CHS students that theater can also be a positive thing for the community so, they decide to put on a play that would benefit Compass Oncology.
A year ago, they put on this play and cancer survivor Brianna Barrett opened for them as a comedian. Mr. Kelly thought she was so amazing he asked her to write a play for them.
The story focuses on Rae when she is diagnosed with cancer and becomes confined to the hospital away from the world during her senior year. Through her surgeries and chemo treatments, she feels increasingly isolated from her old life. When talking about
people with cancer, Mr. Kelly says, “One thing you could say about all of them is that they are fighters; they were passionate, they were funny, and they recognized and lived life to its fullest, because when you are faced with that sort of darkness you can either succumb to that or you can fight against it and try live as much as you can. And I think Rae struggles with that in this: she wants to, but she doesn’t how to.”
This play is different because it is more playful. Mr. Kelly says, “We think of cancer and a lot of us are so afraid to look at it and say, ‘oh these are people’. We see cancer, we don’t see the person, and these people have very rich inner lives and very rich experiences as humans beings, and part of that is their humor… so I think the humor is the really big thing that separates it; it really humanizes it.”
“I think it is amazing they are putting on this play to help bring awareness to cancer and to help people from the ticket sales,” says Junior Sierra Mellor.
The play is at 7:30 on Friday, May 3. Adults are $14, students are $7 and children under 12 are $5. There will also be a raffle basket fundraiser.