Actors Spread Hay Fever

The Hotchkiss Dramatic Association is set to present Noël Coward’s comedy, Hay Fever, from this Friday, February 15, to Sunday, February 17. This classic play, directed by Mr. Parker Reed, instructor in English and theatre, was written in 1920. Set in the 1920s, the play focuses on the hilarity that ensues when the eccentric Bliss family invites guests to their house for the weekend. Actress Laurette Taylor’s “over-the-top theatrical lifestyle” inspired Coward to incorporate such dramatic elements into his own play. Since then, the play has been revived many times around the world, and made into television shows.

Hay Fever will continue the theatrical theme of rebellion this year. However, unlike last season’s Runaways, Hay Fever takes a more light-hearted approach. Guests at the Bliss house initially suppress their own personalities to please the hosts, but then rebel against the Bliss family. Mr. Reed hopes students who watch the play will learn an important lesson. He said, “Sometimes I hope people push back a bit and reject the                                                                                                                           role that is pushed upon [them], and think who are you and who are you made to feel like, and are you happy with your role?”

To get into their characters, the student actors rehearsed five days a week. Emily Heimer ’21, who plays Sorel Bliss in the production, said, “I’m able to find her wants, her conflicts, her obstacles, and her idiosyncrasies. Then, I just think in her mindset. Once you get to know a character, you start to know what they would say in any situation, not just in the play.”

Hay Fever aims to offer a good laugh with its dramatic language and grossly exaggerated movement. Felix Bao ’21, stage manager, said, “Hay Fever will be an absolute hit that brings endless laughter to the Hotchkiss community. I sincerely hope that the community enjoy[s] Nöel Coward’s comedic ingenuity.”