Do you want to see something that isn’t just average theatre? Then come see “Teach Me How to Cry” and be touched as amazing sounds and lights meet the actors performing on stage!
“Teach Me How to Cry” modernizes the story of Romeo and Juliet and twists it on to a different path. Melinda Grant is a girl who is suppressed by her mother and finally finds her out-of-jail-free card in Will Henderson. Will and Melinda fall in love even though Will’s mother has her own thoughts about Melinda’s family.
The cast definitely had high energy and a lot of the characters were very distinct! The technical elements really carried the show with its accentuating special effects. The sound played music that really accented the meaning of each scene. The lighting technicians were able to create the effect of lightning, rain and a noticeable color difference between cloudy and sunny days.
The leads had really great chemistry! The two main lead parts of Will Henderson and Melinda Grant especially had amazing chemistry together. They had a couple really cute moments and had the audience rooting for their ending. The supporting characters were able to really make an impression on the play even though they did not go on stage as often. The character of Anne was a memorable character to bore into audience member’s minds. She had such a load personality. She always stole the few scenes that she was in.
The technical elements really stole the show! The lights were absolutely fantastic! It was very apparent they spent a lot of time perfecting their technical elements. Overall, “Teach me how to cry” was a very memorable show! The abilities of the cast, sound and lights might not be able to ever be matched again! The show definitely taught me more than just “how to cry”.
The Oakland Mills Theater Department’s production of Teach Me How to Cry exhibited clear emotion and understanding of the deeper issues explored in this thought provoking and unconventional drama.
Teach Me How to Cry explores the story of two outcasts, Melinda Grant (Jenna Pekofsky) and Will Henderson (Adam Vaughn) and the struggles they overcome through their relationship. Will’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henderson (Stephen Fox) and (Katherine Taylor), are fixated on building relationships with who they deem are the “right” kinds of people. However in reality Mr. Henderson is a failed salesman who cannot afford the materialistic dreams of his wife. Melinda’s outlandish and quirky mother (Rebecca Martinez-Griewe) lives in an alternate reality. Polly Fisher (Kate Bailey) also works her way into this complex and dramatic story line by antagonizing Melinda and Will for their flaws. But she has also constructed an outward appearance which masks her insecurities of imperfection.
The cast effectively portrayed many of the mature and deeper themes throughout the play including suicide, death of a family member, isolation as a single mother, and the disappointing truths of adulthood. Each actor had a distinct and memorable character which they motivated through clear facial expressions and effective delivery of their lines.
Will Henderson’s (Vaughn) naivety and boyish charm definitely came through in his performance and the chemistry between him and Melinda (Pekofsky) was excellent. It was clear to the audience the development of their loving and caring relationship as they progressed through Act Two, helping each other to overcome their emotional obstacles. Mrs. Henderson (Taylor) put in a tremendous performance. Driven by grief over the life she wishes to have and the death of her son, the maturity of her acting and character were very effective. These were apparent in many of the scenes in Act Two especially when her husband got angry and sent an empty bottle flying across the room. Her reactions were not too melodramatic and it was apparent to the audience the conflicts going through her head.
Other standout actors included Rebecca Martinez-Griewe who was delightful as Mrs. Grant and Kate Bailey who played Polly Fisher. Martinez-Griewe portrayed her quirky and eccentric role with memorable gestures. She made an impression by the way she flitted around the stage, always trying to be optimistic. On the other hand, Kate Bailey’s performance required an arrogance and selfishness which she communicated well in her portrayal of the antagonist Polly Fisher.
The Teach Me How to Cry set was innovative and allowed for some insightful directing choices. Both the Henderson and Grant houses spanned the stage with the run down bandstand in the center. This interesting set made it possible for two scenes to be going on at the same time. One of the most powerful scenes in Teach Me How to Cry is when Melinda and Will go home after saying goodbye at the bandstand and the falling action of the story is able to occur simultaneously. This scene gave the audience another opportunity to compare and contrast the two unusual family dynamics.
Teach Me How to Cry is definitely not the typical high school production. However, its poignant moments and unexpected plot twists set it apart from other dramatic offerings, making it a unique and compelling show.
A small town full of inflated egos, wildfire gossip, and broken dreams is the setting for the story of a naïve first love that brings happiness and hope into the lives of two struggling teenagers. Learning to grieve openly, to accept the unchangeable graciously, and to move on with strength were the main themes of this wonderful show.
In Teach Me How to Cry, a moving drama by Patricia Joudry, young Melinda Grant, the daughter of a slightly mentally ill mother, lives as an outcast under the shadow of the scandalous gossip surrounding her mother’s past. Meanwhile, Will Henderson, the son of a traveling salesman, struggles with parents who do not support his love for writing and push him to pursue a better life. The unhappy pair find one another, and as their friendship grows, they mature and find happiness for the first time. Despite the gossip, cruel prejudice, and their parents’ attempts to separate them, their forbidden friendship blooms into love and hope.
The cast at Oakland Mills High School took on the challenge of this emotionally mature and demanding story and delivered a tender, moving performance. Each member of the cast was committed to bringing the weighty story to life with distinct and memorable character portrayals and mature focus.
Jenna Pekofsky as Melinda Grant handled the weight of her role with remarkable maturity and commitment. Her poignant facial expressions and spot-on physicality beautifully portrayed Melinda’s journey from a sensitive and insecure child to a strong young woman. As Will Henderson, Adam Vaughn, an adeptly charismatic actor, gave a charming performance which made his character both endearing and noble.
Katherine Taylor and Stephen Fox, as Mrs. and Mr. Henderson, worked together skillfully to portray a wide range of emotion, from comic moments of husband-wife antagonizing, to emotionally demanding dramatic scenes in which Mrs. Henderson breaks down in hysterics over the tragic life she lives and Mr. Henderson angrily shatters a bottle in the kitchen sink. Rebecca Martinez-Griewe perfectly portrayed the mentally unstable character of Mrs. Grant with a tasteful balance of motherly love and slightly abnormal behavior. Kate Bailey and Will Eastham, as Polly Fisher and Bruce Mitchell, gave memorable and believable performances as the selfish, prima donna, popular kids in school.
The production elements enabled the performance to flow seamlessly. The lighting throughout the performance was stellar. The set tastefully complemented the story. The Grant home was brightly colored to reflect the overly-positive attitude of Mrs. Grant, while the Henderson home was drearier, and slight imperfections in the kitchen cabinetry revealed the poor state of the temporary residences in which the Hendersons reside while traveling.
Teach Me How to Cry is an enthralling story which exemplifies the power of young love and the importance of hope. The strength and courage of the two adolescents in the story inspires the audience to not mask the pain and hardships of life with the façade of perpetual contentment, but to grieve openly for a while and then look forward to the hope of joy the future holds.
“Today’s setbacks are tomorrow’s triumphs!” rings true in Oakland Mills High School’s rendition of Teach Me How To Cry, that rightfully stole some tears this weekend.
Patricia Joudry’s piece, Teach Me How To Cry, is a drama set in a small town during the late 60’s when one teen’s hunger for acceptance, comradeship, and personal identity get set in motion when the sweet Will Henderson comes to town. But will newcomer Will show Melinda to self-discovery? Will Melinda come to terms with her far-fetched, seamstress mother? And will Melinda find something far better than her prized dolls and finely sewed dresses: true love?
This moving production of heartrending moments, scandalous drama, deeply realistic situations, and universally meaningful dialogue gripped the audience’s attention throughout. Although a small cast size, each and every actor and actress brought tremendous talent to their characters from tender gestures to exuberant giggles.
Adam Vaughn (Will Henderson) and Jenna Pekofsky (Melinda Grant), together, made sparks fly despite their forbidden love. Vaughn did a truly remarkable job crafting Will as the protective and ever-loving friend of Melinda, but also demonstrated true character dynamic in the memorable fight scene.
Strong supporting actors and actresses such as Kate Bailey (Polly Fisher), performed brilliantly in providing the class and spunk to the stage with her fashionable attire and suave poise. Kudos as well to Stephen Fox (Mr. Henderson), who never failed to bring cathartic laughs to the show.
Set design made the show come to life, especially by including the intricately designed bandstand, adorned in green flora, and the homey kitchen appliances in the Henderson’s household. Technical elements anchored the show flawlessly, from the lightening design that heightened and softened scenes, along with turquoise coloring that evoked a more outdoor feel. Most notably were the classic 60’s tunes that played between touching scenes and never reach the brim of sappy.
Captivating character roles, spot-on technical elements, and a very engrossing storyline that keeps audience members constantly guessing, Teach Me How To Cry is a unforgettable, genuinely tender-filled production that reminds all adolescents that even when life may get lonely and difficult, one may still find some hope, happiness, friendship, and love when they least expect it.
Great sets, excellent lights, unified acting, and clear sound all came together to form “Teach Me How To Cry” at Oakland Mills. Directed by Steven Fleming, the show exceeded expectations of every audience member.
The story features a young teenage girl, Melinda Grant, with a slightly insane mother, who is in need of a serious confidence boost. To parallel the ladies, Will Henderson has a broken relationship with his parents, as well. Through Melinda’s involvement in Romeo and Juliet, the production at her school, she becomes more confident and settles with the fact that Will, her new love, must move again.
Oakland Mills left an impression on every audience member. Anchored by the stunning sets and lighting, the show was supported by the great acting on stage. Each style of acting chosen by the performers went perfectly together. The production was complimented by the commitment to each character.
The story follows Melinda Grant, Jenna Pekofsky, on her maturing journey. She wonderfully portrayed a girl, pretending to be happy in front of her mother. Her use of real emotion memorably helped the story progress. Melinda’s love interest, Will Henderson, played by Adam Vaughn, was a great addition to the cast. Awkward and positive, Vaughn lead the show with his great commitment and enthusiasm with his character.
The leads of “Teach Me How To Cry” were expertly supported by the ensemble of the show. Anne and Eleanor, Malak Soussi and Cally Roosa, provided another layer to the show as superficial friends of Melinda. Another great layer to the show was the disconnected parents of the teenagers. Rebecca Martinez-Griewe, Katherine Taylor, and Stephan Fox all used there superior acting skills to blandly show their inner torture from their lives.
Clearly, Oakland Mills is filled with fantastically skilled students with great building skills The professional quality set was uniquely never moved from the stage, lighting was used to accent the part of the stage in focus. Amazing aspects of the show, the lights and sets took the audience into the 1960’s to start the production off right.
“Teach Me How To Cry” allowed audiences to see the serious side of Oakland Mills, while still finding comical moments. The impressive performance gave the audience a new appreciation for fine theater. Well done Oakland Mills!
Sets and sounds drew the audience of Oakland Mills High School’s production of
Teach Me How to Cry back into the 60’s when small town talk ruled the social lives of its
Melinda Grant is disconnected from her mother and school, enough to impel a home
visit from her teacher. Will Henderson lives with his mother who strives for a perfect life and a
father who wants him to associate with the right people. Mirroring Romeo and Juliet, the two
meet one night at a dance, changing each other’s lives forever.
Adam Vaughn created a dynamic character as Will Henderson. At first he seemed like
a sleazy pick up artist, but when introduced to Melinda Grant (Jenna Pekofsky) he changes
like a butterfly into a sensitive, caring young man. Jenna Pekofsky successfully turned an
unlikeable character into a young woman with which, by the end of the show, the audience
Katherine Taylor gave an impressive performance as Mrs. Henderson, a woman who
lives to raise a perfect, moral family. Over the course of the show, Taylor commands the
audience’s attention to care about Mrs. Henderson’s gradual resignation to the fact that her
husband’s job will never afford the family a home. Bruce Mitchell was a natural on the stage
as Will Eastham, the popular boy at the school. He effectively tortures and antagonizes
Melinda Grant as the Romeo to her Juliet in their school play.
Sound designers Kevin Bochinski and Grace Davenport took memorable songs from
the time to provide an effective segue for the audience from the present to the 60’s. Costume
designer Magdalene Brenner compiled a wardrobe fitting the 60’s with luscious time-
appropriate dresses and suits.
Take a step into the time machine that is Teach Me How to Cry. Full of pain and teen
angst, at least the show leaves the audience with a positive outlook on life, a departure from
the depressing ending of Romeo and Juliet.
“Well, is your mother insane?” A forward question from a forward boy. In Oakland Mills High School's production of “Teach Me How To Cry,” such moments are what made the play unique and interesting.
“Teach Me How To Cry” by Patricia Joudry is the story of two out-of-place teenagers finding a place with each other. Melinda Grant, the teenage girl, lives with her mother Mrs. Grant. Mrs. Grant is a sunny woman, but not so much optimistic as refusing to be pessimistic in the slightest. Contrastingly, Will Henderson's mother refuses to accept her family's place in the world and constantly dwells on reaching her ideal. Strangers in their own families, Will and Melinda find happiness in each other. Too bad their happiness causes so much unhappiness.
A driving force of this show was its set. The different sections on stage helped establish not only the time period but the tone and mood of each scene. It is always hard portraying another time period, but the director's choices for sets and props aided the audience in understanding “when” they were looking at.
The characters Will and Melinda would agree that their relationship was “all very mixed up,” but actors Jenna Pekofsky (Melinda) and Adam Vaughn (Will) worked well together. On stage physicality is very important. Vaughn had clear, natural movements, which made his scenes more relatable, and great emotional levels, which gave depth to his character. Pekofsky transitioned well emotionally throughout the play with good facial expressions.
In the script there is a contrast between the mothers, Mrs. Henderson and Mrs. Grant, but it was the actors, Katherine Taylor and Rebecca Martinez-Griewe, that brought this out on stage. Both girls were consistent throughout with their physicality and vocal pitch. Had they wavered in these it would have brought the audience out of the play. Taylor also showed a particular range of emotion not expected from a high-schooler. She illustrated the pains of a mother quite well and showed high emotion without being over the top.
The director's choice of having period music play between scenes was perfect. It set up the era and the scene to come. It was very enjoyable as an audience member. Sound effects and lighting were also put to good use. In one scene, Will and Melinda are out in the rain, and at one point there was lightning created by lighting and projection on the backdrop. This was a shocking and very fitting for the mood.
“Teach Me How To Cry” was very good overall. It was thought-provoking and real. Although one tries not to think of the unhappy people in the world, like the characters in this play, it is important to reminded of them from time to time.
Teach Me How to Laugh and Cry
By: Kirsten Arterburn
Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a timeless classic, and Teach Me How To Cry, directed by Mr. Steven Flemming, mirrors some of its plot while incorporating the actual play into the show.
This story focused on a high school girl named Melinda in 1960. She feels obligated to take care of her unstable mother while still desiring to pursue her interests and be a normal teen. With the encouragement of her teacher, she plays Juliet in her school production of Romeo and Juliet. Meanwhile, a boy her age, Will, is experiencing something similar, and he works through it with the help of a relationship with Melinda. They mature together and learn how to discover themselves outside of their families.
This show was put together very nicely. A solid cast of ten actors filled the stage, which was broken into three areas, each reflecting a different family’s personality and outlook. The set was a key part of the show through its insight and representation of something deeper.
One section of the stage represented the home of Melinda, played by Jenna Pekofsky, and her mother. Pekofsky excellently portrayed the inner conflict inside herself between protecting her mother and discovering herself. Her mother, played by Rebecca Martinez-Griewe, was very convincing as an optimistic mother trying to create a perfect world for her daughter. Adam Vaughn played Jenna’s love interest and first boyfriend, and the two shared excellent chemistry. A wonderful cast was selected to perform in this unfamiliar drama.
Although less prominent and less developed, there was a nicely assembled group of supporting characters ranging from Will’s parents to the schoolteacher to students at school. Will’s mother, Katherine Taylor handled well the emotions and longing for a better life, while Natalie Beach very accurately portrayed the concerned teacher. The students at school accurately represented the high school social scene from the jealous best friend to the desperate boyfriend.
While the acting was good, the lighting, sets and sound anchored the show. The lights were very specific and always directed the eye to the right place, and had some nice effects at the end when opposite sides of the stage were lit up in the period of change and acceptance. The sets, as aforementioned, were fantastic. Since, Melinda’s mother is an optimist, she decorates her house with bright colors and window coverings to hide the rain, while Will’s mother the pessimist has a run-down kitchen and always talks about how she cannot have a better place to live. Each house was on the opposite side of the stage, and in the middle, there was the school and the bandstand, an essential to the story, which sprouted flowers when the seasons changed at intermission. The sound was flawless, which was a combination of the articulation of the actors and the work on behalf of the microphones. While there were a few anachronisms in costumes and hairstyles, they were made up for with the timely sixties music and props such as glass Coke bottles and a refrigerator that really brought you into the time period.
All these great aspects come together to make a great show that will make you laugh and cry.
Crying is often viewed as a weakness, when in reality it shows strength and courage. The ability to show vulnerability is something all characters in “Teach Me How to Cry” at Oakland Mills High School learned throughout the show.
“Teach Me How to Cry” is a dramatic play that follows to stories of teenagers Melinda Grant and Will Henderson. The two adolescents struggle to find happiness due to pressures and dreams forced upon them by their parents. Through the school play of “Romeo and Juliet”, spending time together, and an old burnt down bandstand the two learn to let down walls and enjoy life and happiness. Due to issues with their parents, Melinda and Will must separate; similar to Romeo and Juliet’s romance. Will the two overcome to obstacle with strength and optimism or will patterns be repeated?
Oakland Mills’ set and lighting really added to the overall production. The set stayed true to time period and was simple yet perfect. Both Lighting and the set created smooth transitions from one scene to another.
Adam Vaughn, who played Will Henderson, portrayed the character with a wonderful optimism that added to his innocence and charisma. Rebecca Martinez-Griewe played a heart wrenching yet humorous mother who cannot let go of her past dreams that were shattered as Mrs. Grant.
Out of the supporting characters Anne, played by Malak Soussi, really stood out. She had a definite character and she stuck to it completely. She was unafraid of commitment and thought everything out down to Anne’s specific walk.
Lighting Designer Ethan Knister and the Oakland Mills Stagecraft class deserve two thumbs way up for their brilliant work. Both of these production elements complimented the other, as well as the performers on stage. Through the lights we could infer the setting and where the focus on stage is. The three separate set pieces added to the smooth transitions and showed definite contrast between each family home and the bandstand; the teen’s secret meeting place.
The Oakland Mills production of “Teach Me How to Cry” was delightful. This unheard of show that doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page develops answers to issues teenagers today still face within themselves. The most valuable and effective form of healing will always be simply crying.
Filled with teen angst, heartwarming family dynamics, and groovin’ music of the 60’s, Teach Me How To Cry proved to be a touching, introspective play performed on the Oakland Mills stage.
Set in a small town in the year 1960, Melinda Grant, a young troubled teen dealing with the strained relationship she holds with her mother, struggles to find her identity. She attempts to discover more about herself in playing the role of Juliet in her school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. Through the course of the play, she meets Will Henderson, a boy who also suffers from a disconnected relationship with his parents. In the company of each other, they learn how to acknowledge the difficulties of life in order to mature and grow stronger.
Jenna Pekofsky brought a strong and engaging energy to the role of the troubled Melinda Grant. Her presence was endearing as she portrayed the persona of a detached teenager struggling to determine her personal identity, in the progressive era of change and intrigue. Working alongside of Pekofsky, was Adam Vaughn, playing a sensitive and intellectual Will Henderson looking for something more to life. Vaughn was able to convince the audience of Henderson’s insightful character façade, and still win over the hearts of the audience as he professed his love for his co-star.
The supporting characters of the play include the disconcerting mother of Melinda Grant, Mrs. Grant, portrayed by Rebecca Martinez-Griewe. Griewe was able to convey the care of natural maternal instinct, while also remaining slightly disengaged to the true feelings of her daughter. Also serving as parents, Katherine Taylor and Stephen Fox, depicted the roles of Mrs. and Mr. Henderson, who added to the worrisome family dynamic of the Henderson family. Kate Bailey, Will Eastham, Malak Soussi, and Cally Roosa acted as fellow classmates of Grant and Henderson had the audience giggling with laughter as comic relief.
A stationary set throughout the course of the play rendered a simple yet effective set in order to showcase three main locations visited by the characters. Small details within the homes of Melinda and Will added to the validity of the early 60’s period. The bright and cheery style of the Grant household juxtaposed the drab poor conditions of the Henderson’s boarding house, mirroring differences in perspective of both Will and Melinda. Interesting sound effects and visual lighting not only kept the audience on their toes, but gave a lively effect to a possibly gloomy plot.
Teach Me How To Cry is a unique drama that offers an interesting perspective on the issues that students face today, and Oakland Mills’ rendition serves as a great feat that varies from the farcical comedies of years past
Most people remember the 1960s to be a time of music, innovation and change. This may be, but we seldom hear about the darker side of one of the most pivotal periods in U.S. History, apart from the Vietnam War. In Teach Me How To Cry, Oakland Mill High School’s autumnal play, society in the 60s is portrayed through the lives of two families. As they try to live the ‘American Dream’ and strive for a happier tomorrow, they each present flaws that are not usually heard when bringing back fond memories of Generation X.
The story revolves around Melinda Grant and Will Henderson (played by Jenna Pekofsky and Adam Vaughn), who live the normal lives of two teens in the 60s. Their families are somewhat shattered however, both with sad stories hidden in the past. The actions of their parents do not daunt the two friends, both outcasts at school, and soon a budding romance is built. Mrs. Grant (played by Rebecca Martinez-Griewe) is a mysterious woman with a dark past. Rumors told by Mrs. Henderson (Katherine Taylor) to her husband (Stephen Fox), hint that perhaps Mrs. Grant is not all together sane. As families quietly battle their disputes out and the children face the everyday life of school (not to mention a production of Romeo & Juliet), a story of both beauty and honest unfolds.
The leads in the show, Jenna Pekofsky and Adam Vaughn had an increasingly great amount of chemistry. From an early start, you saw that both were not the most popular people in school and from that, they presented to each other a sense of
equality. Without pause or error, they presented a semi-awkward love story between two young people who are looking for something beyond their reach. The parents in the play present the darker side to the 60s. Katherine Taylor and Rebecca Martinez-Griewe as the two mothers proved to be one of the most memorable aspects of the show. Their characters, at first seemingly different, proved in the end to be on the same page in regards to how life really was and how something just don’t change, no matter how hard you try.
Without all of the family drama, a story was set in the background. This involved a girl named Polly (played by Kate Bailey), who longs for the title role in Romeo & Juliet, but unfortunately for her, the role is given to Melinda. This is when the plot takes a turn from sad and mildly depressing to something out of a television sitcom. Not saying, of course that the drama drew away from the play, it simply presented the view that perhaps it is better to cover over completely sadness with mild comic relief. The silly antics of Polly and her suitor Bruce (Will Eastman), showed the lighter side of the 60s, the side in which love was prominent and music was as common as air.
The most engrossing aspect of the production was the lighting and the sets. To recreate the 1960s, you cannot have a shiny new refrigerator or Deluxe Edition Barbie dolls lying around the house. On stage sat several items that have only been
seen in films such as Pleasantville, quaint, lightly colored objects that gave the impression of a strange case of time travel. The sets, staying solitary on stage for the entire production, showed almost exactly what one would expect in a common 1960s living-room and kitchen. The lighting was somewhat dim and brought about a sense of foreboding. At one point in the play, Melinda and Will are sitting on what is said to be a ‘haunted’ Bandstand. Rain is heard falling down upon them and the lights begin to dim, patterns of colored light filtering around them onto a screen behind them. It
was not at all distracting from the action on stage; in fact, it made the drama much more acute to the situation and provided the audience with some kind of emotion about the obscure plot.
Oakland Mills did a wonderful job in producing a work that has been performed only a number of times for a live audience. It is hard to undertake something such as this, but with the right lighting and proper amount of teenage angst and
parental concern, a touching story can be told and remembered for a very long time.
An enticing play production called Teach Me How to Cry at Oakland Mills High School captivated the minds of the audience with its hypnotic performance. “Teach Me How to Cry” was performed by the talented cast of Rebecca Martinez-Griewe, Natalie Beach, Jenna Pekofsky, Kate Bailey, Will Eastham, Malak Soussi, Cally Roosa, Adam Vaughn, Katherine Taylor, and Stephen Fox.
The story takes place in an ordinary town with ordinary people. As is most stories, there is a boy and a girl who meet and whose friendship blossoms. Both have had a hard background full of hardships, and seem to comfort each other. However, as the story unfolds, the audience sees that not everything is what is appears to be. Pride, hurt, jealousy, the ability to trust and loss are all key elements in Teach Me How to Cry.
The production itself was very enchanting, with all of the actors and actresses complementing each other. The play flowed very smoothly, with no awkward pauses whatsoever. Everyone spoke with clear voices that projected to all corners of the theater, and the cast truly appeared that they were connected to each other, i.e. family members acted and were viewed as actual family members to each other.
The two leads of TMHTC, Jenna Pekofsky as Melinda Grant and Adam Vaughn as Will Henderson, had an on-stage chemistry that can be admired. Both portrayed great body language to get their points across, as well as great reaction to what was happening around them. The connection between the characters of two awkward teenagers with their own personal problems was outstanding.
Apart from the two leads, Rebecca Martinez-Griewe (Mrs. Grant), Natalie Beach (Ms. Robson), Kate Bailey (Polly Fisher), Will Eastham (Bruce Mitchell), Malak Soussi (Anne), Cally Roosa (Eleanor), Katherine Taylor (Mrs. Henderson) and Stephen Fox (Mr. Henderson) had great on-stage chemistry as well. All of these actors stood out in a very unique way, but they also were part of a bigger unit, whether it was a family or a posse of girls. Katherine Taylor and Stephen Fox made the roles of husband and wife come to life, as well as Kate Bailey being the ‘mean girl’ in the play with her own posse backing her up (Malak Soussi and Cally Roosa). What was truly impressive was the shyness and reserved nature of Rebecca Martinez-Griewe as the lonely yet happy mother in denial, Mrs. Grant.
The use of stage sets and props were very meaningful, as well as remarkable. The house of the happy Mrs. Grant was all pink and girly, while the somber house of the Henderson’s’ was gray and rundown. As for lighting and special effects, it was a bit confusing to see exactly where the audience should pay attention to, because there were two sets with two different things happening at the same time. However, the use of lightning flashes left the audience speechless.
Overall, the Oakland Mills High School drama actors and actresses did a superb job in Teach Me How to Cry. There were moments where the audience laughed, as well as having tears in their eyes. If you want to see excellent acting, as well as experience a vast majority of emotions, then Teach Me How to Cry is the play to see. Bravo!