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H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

By • Mar 8th, 2013 • Category: Cappies, Virginia

“Mendacity is a system that we live in.” Not only society, but every home and every single relationship, are often founded upon lies and deceit, and when the truth is finally told it can be destructive. This message was delivered in H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program’s recent presentation of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, as a family was broken apart by the bitter truths that tore through their net of mendacity.

This classic drama was written by the famed playwright Tennessee Williams in 1955 and takes place over one night. This as a large Southern family celebrates the birthday of their patriarch, who possesses a fortune made on his cotton plantation. Beneath his descendants’ smiling faces, Big Daddy (Sam Lammie) knows they hide secrets and ulterior motives, and over the entire family is spread an air of suspicion and resentment. The family is going through a crisis; Big Daddy is dying, and the biggest lie is: he doesn’t know it yet.

Maggie the Cat (Kyra Klontz) is the wife of Big Daddy’s second son, Brick (Ned Sieverts). She describes herself as a “cat on a hot tin roof,” because she loves Brick and wants to keep living with him, but he won’t sleep with her and she’s starving for love. Klontz gave views into both emotional sides of Maggie the Cat. She could be cool and confident, utilizing body language and a tone of voice that said she knew would eventually get what she wanted. But every so often her intense frustration, simmering on the back burner, would boil over and show itself in her suddenly desperate and harsh voice, which gave the character depth and contrast.

Ned Sieverts showed Brick’s cynical personality in all his interactions with the other characters, from his monosyllabic responses, to his sardonic attitude and expressions. His sullenness was conveyed in the deep, slow drawl of his voice, and the way he pronounced every syllable of each word which made him increasingly stiff and cold. These factors contributed to Sieverts’ believable portrayal of a man who wants to remain distant, who wants to keep all his emotions, and all his memories of the past, bottled up inside of himself.

Sam Lammie played a convincing Big Daddy, showing how the character, under a stolid exterior, was extremely frustrated and disgusted with his family and this system of mendacity. Lammie demonstrated that Big Daddy’s personality showed his frustration by turning a cold shoulder on his wife and children, and hurling sarcasm at them in an extremely cruel way. Lammie conveyed that Big Daddy especially despised his first son’s wife, Mae (Caroline Petro). Mae was trying to secure her husband’s inheritance by making it clear, every chance she got, that she had children and Brick and Maggie did not. Petro conveyed this nagging toward Big Daddy very well, and poignantly delivered sharp insults at Maggie, to show her condescension towards the childless woman.

The time period and situation were elaborated on the set and in the props, showing Brick and Maggie’s bedroom with matching bedspread and curtains, and an old clock on the nightstand. The costumes added to the understanding of how well-off the characters were, with the women wearing appropriate jewelry, and their hair styles fitting their characters nicely.

With its mature themes and incredibly dramatic and meaningful text, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a daring feat for high school students to attempt. H-B Woodlawn presented it well, showing the audience the depth of a family’s crisis, and doing justice to Tennessee Williams’ finest.

by Allison Fantz of Robert E. Lee High School

Photo Gallery

Kyra Klontz and Ned Sieverts Ned Sieverts and Kyra Klontz
Kyra Klontz and Ned Sieverts
Ned Sieverts and Kyra Klontz
Sam Lammie, Charlie Mai, James Reed, Caroline Petro, Anna Toth, Amie Heng Ned Sieverts and Sam Lammie
Sam Lammie, Charlie Mai, James Reed, Caroline Petro, Anna Toth, Amie Heng
Ned Sieverts and Sam Lammie

Photos by Grace Cannon

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