Live ARTs Is Back: Grades 9&10 Play “The Outsider”

The Richard Perry Theatre is ready for its grand return to in-person performances! Poly Arts is excited to present our first in-school performance since February 2020 with the Grades 9 & 10 play, The Outsider: New Short Plays, five short plays commissioned for Poly.

Grade 9 & 10 Play: The Outsider
A Message From the Director
Michael Robinson with Cynthia Babak
Michael Robinson and Cynthia Babak

“Poly Prep is proud to offer a fall theater production each year geared specifically to Grades 9 and 10 students,” said Director Cynthia Babak. “Last year we initiated a commission for new material tailored to this age group and the health mandates in place at that time. The result was the hugely successful Ghost Story allowing us to rehearse and record students in original short pieces remotely.  This year we asked five professional playwrights for short plays on the theme of The Outsider. Each artist has interpreted the theme uniquely.”

“Some are contemporary and comment in some way on the isolation we’ve all endured the last 18 months,” Babak continued. “like Monica Flory’s The Outsiders, set in a sleep-away summer camp; and Gabe Rodriguez’s Nourishment, set in an urban soup kitchen. Nylda Mark’s The Early Adopter uses history to comically illustrate how outsiders become trendsetters. Miranda Rose Hall’s Rocky Mountain National Park poignantly highlights how nature has the power to heal; while Elizabeth Wong’s Supergirls versus the World tells us with Brechtian flair to start healing nature. These varied and brilliant short plays give our young actors an amazing opportunity to stretch their skills. And this year students were able to rehearse and perform in person.”

Cast and Production Crew
Isabelle G.
Isabelle Gerling ’25

Izzy Gerling ’25 plays a teenager named Irina in the short play The Outsiders by Monica Flory. “My character made being an ‘outsider’ come into a new light,” Gerling said. “My character is new to camp and even though she is new and feels alone she watches people who have been there for six years feel the same way. It really made me reflect on if I have ever experienced this myself.” She added that rehearsing in person “feels much more like before COVID. The only thing is we have masks now.”

David Higham
David Higham P’07

As Theatre Manager/Technical Director, David Higham P’07 will be doing the lighting and sound for the show as he has done for more than 160 Poly productions since 1992. Andrew Murdock, who joined us for the productions during the pandemic, will be designing the set and Hannah Chalman will be designing the costumes as she did for the virtual productions. “It is fabulous to be back to almost normal,” Higham said, “and having the students live in the theatre for rehearsal and for tech crew. We have a great group of students interested in tech crew this year.” He said the students are “obviously happy to be back in person and able to participate in the process.”

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Families are asked to register to attend “The Outsider” on Thursday, October 28 or Friday, October 29 at 7 PM.

Please note the following policy for in-person visits to our campuses:

  • Poly Prep’s campuses are accessible for fully vaccinated individuals aged 12+.
  • Visitors experiencing any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including mild symptoms such as congestion should stay home.
  • All visitors must show proof of vaccination. Proof of vaccination can be a NYS Excelsior Pass, a CDC vaccination card or NYC’s COVID SAFE app.
  • All visitors must show a photo ID.
  • Unvaccinated children may accompany their vaccinated parents.
  • Masks must be worn at all times indoors.
  • Parents/guardians accompanied by unvaccinated children are responsible for ensuring that unvaccinated children maintain social distance (> 3 feet) from others while on campus.

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