By Sabrina Carroll
Student Life Editor
Washington College has a multitude of performances each semester that bring something special to the community. One of these performances was “Henry V,” a senior thesis production by Nicholas O’Meally.
O’Meally had a special reason for choosing “Henry V” as his senior capstone show. “During my sophomore year, I rediscovered ‘Henry V,’” he said. “I began to realize that if a young king like Henry could rally the troops, I could do the same. WC is a place where young leaders are born, and I wanted to share the same lessons I learned from ‘Henry V’ with everyone.” All senior capstone performances serve as a source of inspiration for younger students regarding “rallying troops” and putting a huge project together.
Freshman Simon Belcher believes the play presented issues that are extremely relevant to today’s society. “‘Henry V’ was about the justification and costs of war. All plays force people to think, but ‘Henry V’ did that in a very relevant way,” he said. “Shakespeare is not performed a lot here, and the production of ‘Henry V’ [communicated these ideas] creatively and effectively.” Considering the fact that Shakespeare is not commonly seen on WC’s campus, it was important that the Shakespeare that was being shown was performed well.
O’Meally’s ideas of what ‘Henry V’ presented were parallel to those of Belcher’s. “I wanted a play that questioned our understandings of glory and morality in times of war,” he said. “My decision to go with a modern day setting was based off the idea that war hasn’t changed. Certainly our tools and tactics have, but our motives remain the same. The story still makes sense in our world, and I thought that my audience could relate to it more if they saw modern military uniforms and weapons.”
One of the aspects of the performance that made it special was it was performed outside. The setting of the performance added to the feel of the play, especially since spring was starting to show.
“Working outside on this show was definitely an experience,” freshman Connor Lugo-Harris said. “At times, we rehearsed while it was snowing, and it was just really, really cool. Having to lie on the ground during the cold mist and rain of the open dress rehearsal may have not been the most fun thing to do, but it was so authentic and real that I think to some level it was enjoyable for the unique experience it brought us.”
While the show took a good amount of hard work and dedication, the cast and crew had a great time working together. “This production never would have happened without the talent and dedication of my cast and crew,” said O’Meally. “I am so thankful to have had such amazing support from this (get ready for a cheesy line) band of brothers.”
The feelings were mutual. The cast really enjoyed working with O’Meally. “Our director knew the show inside and out,” said Lugo-Harris. “I feel so fortunate to have been able to work with him as well as with our amazing cast.”