Purebred Productions debuts “Pygmalion”


photo by Nadia Knoblauch

Junior Joelle Jackson and senior Kylie Sheplan go over plans for rehearsal on Oct. 25. Theater students were able to join crews by signing up with direcotr Jamaal Solomon, or applying to be a crew leader.

After hurricane setbacks and two months of rehearsals, the drama department will debut its first play of the year, “Pygmalion,” on Thursday, Oct. 27. The inspiration for movies such as “My Fair Lady” and “She’s All That,” “Pygmalion” tells the story of a linguist, dared with the goal to fix the speech of a young Cockney flower seller and pass her off as a duchess. As a British classic, theater director Jamaal Solomon hoped to create a “full-circle” moment for his senior students, who performed a classic play their freshmen year. 

“I taught Pygmalion when I was an English teacher, and this was the one [play] that spoke to me and speaks to the way the world is today, so I went with it,” Solomon said.

While the show was first announced after the spring musical in April, auditions were not held until the beginning of August, giving the group September and October to rehearse. However, these plans were cut short due to Hurricane Ian, which canceled their rehearsal time from Sept. 23 to Sept. 29. Staying in touch through social media and group chats, the student leaders of the costume, props, set, marketing and lights and sound teams were able to communicate with their crews.

“We are unfortunately used to working in a tight time frame, so I know what these students are capable of,” Solomon said.

With two-hour rehearsals generally held Monday through Thursday, the different crews stayed organized through Google drives and daily reflections to keep track of their progress. According to stage manager Jazlyn Compton, organization was key to the play’s development.

“I think it’s essential to have everything organized and in one spot,” Compton said. “I really try to keep everything stable and as calm as possible backstage, especially during tech week and our shows.”

After hours of costume designing, lighting changes and even dialect coaching, the student-run crew held their dress rehearsals on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, leading to their opening night Thursday.

“The crews and the cast have been pouring their literal blood, sweat and tears into this and have been working so hard,” Solomon said. “I can’t wait for people to see this beautiful story.”

“Pygmalion” will be performed from Oct. 27 through Oct. 30 at & p.m., and tickets can be bought during lunch or on Teach Tix for $13.