Drama Club and Theater Introduce Disney's Two One-Act Marvel Plays
Maryam Ahmed '19
12 February 2019
Last year, Passaic Valley partnered with the Disney Theatrical Licensing Program to be one of five schools in the country to perform Disney's Freaky Friday. This year, PV piloted two new dramas based on Marvel characters: "Mirror of Most Value," a Kamala Khan play by Masi Asare and "Subatomic" a play featuring Ant-Man's daughter by Nick Blaemire. With the help of the Drama Club and the Advanced Theater class, these two one-act plays were presented as "stage readings".
"Subatomic" was previewed for freshmen students on February 5th during periods 1-3. Both plays later debuted in the Schneider Auditorium on February 8th.
Freshmen were honored and impressed to learn PV had been chosen for the Disney Theatrical Licensing Program. "It's pretty cool that, out of all the schools in the nation, we were one of them to be chosen to perform these plays," said Andre Manzi '22. "That doesn't happen everyday, or to an ordinary high school."
Ms. Caren Atamian, Theater Arts teacher/director, is very pleased to be a part of the program, especially with shows about such pressing topics to today's teens. "The modern day issues brought up in the play are very valid and need to be addressed to younger teenagers," she stated. "Art is suppose to inform, inspire and essentially be thought-provoking."
The play "Mirror of Most Value", focuses on Kamala Khan, (Superhero name: Ms. Marvel) a teenager who is kind-hearted and doesn't judge others as a few of her teammates do. She is passionate in writing fictional stories but later on is confronted by some of the known superheroes in Marvel. Ms. Marvel can metaphorically stretch, shrink or enlarge her body, ultimately changing her physical appearance. Throughout the play, she plays a double life, determined to do well in high school and be a great hero. In the end, Khan impacts the life of a fangirl comic reader.
"Subatomic" was designed for underclassmen to understand the concept of becoming more aware of your surroundings and what you can do to help those in need. In the drama, Cassie, Ant-Man's daughter (Superhero name: Stature), witnesses her best friend being assaulted by a boy in a bathroom. Cassie, trying to keep her identity hidden, finds a way to prove the boy guilty. She becomes subatomic, and through cleverness makes him confess to his wrongful actions. The principal is then brought into the situation after his confession makes its way around the school, and the student is removed.
Though the stories were written by Marvel, Ms. Atamian and her cast were allowed to add their own touches in support of the plots and messages. For underclassmen to understand the concept behind "Subatomic", Ms. Atamian thought it was best for Cassie, the superhero, to be portrayed by spotlights. When the character becomes small, she disappears behind a locker, and a spotlight would initially be on stage for that to occur.
The scripts performed by the Drama Club and Advanced Theater are still considered early drafts. Therefore, many alterations will be made in the process to reaching a final product. Generally, it takes two to six years for a play similar to these to be produced. For the cast and crew, it is an honor to be a part of that perfecting process.
Thien Dinh-Do'19 was ecstatic to be a part of the play. Playing Mr. Jones, the Guidance Counselor in "Subatomic", and Josh, Ironman, and part of the ensemble in "Mirror of Most Value"; he has a lot to say from the experience. "I believe that the Drama Club and Theater class have made each play very meaningful and turned it into something remarkable!"
For more information/notifications about upcoming plays please visit the PVHS Theater Instagram Page.