RHS begins theater year with a drama

The Ridgefield High School Visual and Performing Arts Department will stage Lillian Hellman’s drama The Children’s Hour during November in the Anne S. Richardson Auditorium of Ridgefield High School.

The Children’s Hour takes place in Depression-era New England at an all-girls boarding school run by teachers Karen Wright and Martha Dobie. When the teachers punish a difficult and troubled student, the student retaliates by spreading a vicious lie about the two women, a lie that leaves a shaken community and shattered lives in its wake. The Children’s Hour was written in 1934 and was Lillian Hellman’s first play for the stage. The intense study of the power of a lie was inspired by an actual court case in 1810 in Scotland. Though considered thematically controversial at the time, Hellman’s play was highly regarded by theater critics and ran for 691 performances on Broadway. The RHS production has mature themes and content.

The play is directed by RHS performing arts teacher Sherry Cox and features a cast of 22, including students Emily Parker as Martha Dobie, Eleanor Andresen as Karen Wright, Evan Smolin as Dr. Joseph Cardin, Lucy Basile as Mrs. Amelia Tilford, Beatrice Altopp as Mary Tilford, Nell Walton as Mrs. Lily Mortar, and Annabel Briody as Rosalie Wells.

Senior Claire McLoughlin is the stage manager. Set design is by Sherry Cox. Lighting is by Lydia Strong and sound design is by Adam Lobelson. DJ Ammirato leads the student tech crew for lighting, Donata Libonati for sound, and Kaitlyn Mitchell for makeup.

The Children’s Hour will have five evening performances, Nov. 9-11 and Nov. 17-18 at 7:30 p.m. The snow date is Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students with school ID and for seniors age 60 and over. Ridgefield seniors who have a Gold Card may enjoy one show for free, but must have the Gold Card with them for admission. Tickets will be sold at the door. Online sales at rhsperformingarts.info/, telephone sales at 203-894-5750.