This Is a Test: Vermont Academy’s Fall Play 2023

The Vermont Academy Performing Arts Department presented their fall show over the weekend, performing the one-act comedy This Is a Test in Vermont Academy’s Nita Choukas Theater at the Horowitz Performing Arts Hall, which explores the inner workings of the mind while one endures test anxiety.
This Is a Test by Stephen Gregg was published in 1988, and yet the anguish and angst that comes with taking a test one is ill-prepared for is just as painful and relevant today as it was back then.

The show’s main character, Alan, has sixty minutes to complete a test, or, as Gregg writes, “an oh-so-important predictor of your future,” for which Alan did not receive the review sheet for, his classmates are cheating on, and the teacher doesn’t seem to care about any of it. While the class takes the test, an ominous voice reads out the puzzling test questions, reminding the students - and seemingly disturbing only Alan - of the decreasing amount of time remaining. Vermont Academy’s multi-talented students helped adapt the play, revising some of the script's language to restore the original intent behind the comedy.

The cast was comprised of Casey Rhodes '27 as Alan, Caitlin Masure '25 as Lois, Librieonna Cooper ‘25 as teacher Mrs. Williams, Lucas Hoffman '24 as Pat, Maya Sbardellati '25 as Chris and Alan’s mother Mrs. Lefenfeld, Cali Burnett '26 as Lily, Suki Lambert '25, Andy Darcy '25, and Asper Donath '26 as the Chorus, real-life Math Department Head Russell Mayhew as student Anthony Montague, and faculty member Kashanie Butler as the voice.

Technical support was provided by, and acknowledgments go to: Director Jonathan Barron '96, Asper Donath '26, Leran Chen '24, Lindsey Fitzgerald, Alexis Berrettini '24, Dane Mulverhill '24, Mason Evans '26, Cali Burnett '26, Librieonna Cooper '25, Andy Darcy '25, Lucas Hoffman '24, Suki Lambert '25, Caitlin Masure '25, Casey Rhodes '27, Maya Sbardellati '25, Lisa Eckhardt McNealus '79, Karen Langston, and Ethan Haseltine.

For a specific scene in the play, unique support was needed. Some parts of the original script, being written in the 1980s, had antiquated comedic elements, such as lines written in fake Chinese and Latin. To rectify this, Director Jonathan Barron worked with Leran and Asper, who acted as Chinese and Latin translators to implement real Chinese and Latin language into the script. The result was a comedic, tasteful, and eloquently spoken delivery of lines in the respective languages by the cast, that was well received by the roaring audience.

The performances of This Is a Test took place on Friday & Saturday, November 10 & 11 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, November 12 at 2:00 pm in Vermont Academy’s Nita Choukas Theater at the Horowitz Performing Arts Hall, 10 Long Walk in Saxtons River, Vermont. 

Photos of the production can be found here

The next offering from Vermont Academy Performing Arts will be our annual Candlelight Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 12.
Vermont Academy is a coed college preparatory boarding and day school in southern Vermont, serving grades 9-12 plus a postgraduate year.