Performing Arts at Beaver: Playwright Adam Szymkowicz speaks with students

The playwright behind Beaver’s upcoming fall plays The Bookstore (MS) and Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood (US), Adam Szymkowicz, met with students via Zoom to discuss the productions. In separate sessions for each show, Szymkowicz shared with the cast and crews the inspiration behind various characters, his favorite moments and quotes, and his advice for taking on the plays.

Students kicked off the discussions by sharing with Szymkowicz what roles they were playing in the upcoming productions. For Middle Schoolers, this also involved sharing a few theories about the characters of The Bookstore. Szymkowicz, hesitant to deny or confirm anything, laughed as students insisted two characters were destined for love.

A big takeaway for Middle School students was that there is no “right” way to create or portray a character; the script is for the actors and director to interpret themselves. Szymkowicz was adamant that the trial and error associated with this process is what it’s all about.

“This play wants to be open. Try some stuff… there are some things that might not work, but there are probably more things that will”

-Adam Szymkowicz

Upper School students gained a deeper understanding of their show, Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood, in addition to hearing more about the process of writing plays. Szymkowicz discussed how he found his love for writing for the stage and what it is like to be working in the industry as a playwright.

With the advice from Szymkowicz fresh in their minds, students are looking forward to the upcoming fall plays!

The Middle School show, The Bookstore, will take place on October 27th and 28th at 6:00pm in Bradley Hall. The Upper School show, Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood, will take place on November 10th, 11th, and 12th at 7:00pm in Black Box.

The Bookstore
by Adam Szymkowicz
Synopsis: The future of a whimsical, almost magical bookstore is uncertain after the owner dies and leaves the shop to her niece Rachel. Rachel has a job in New York City that doesn’t pay her enough and a fiancé that won’t stop calling. She doesn’t have the time or patience to run a bookstore, so when real estate magnate Max Brewer offers her more money than she can imagine turning the store into an apartment complex, her choice seems like a no-brainer. But as the shop works its magic on her and she gets to know the eccentric employees and clientele, she starts to wonder: Can you really put a price on a beloved community bookstore?

Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood
by Adam Szymkowicz
Synopsis: A gender-bending, patriarchy-smashing, hilarious new take on the classic tale. Robin Hood is (and has always been) Maid Marian in disguise, and leads a motley group of Merry Men (few of whom are actually men) against the greedy Prince John. As the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, who will stand for the vulnerable if not Robin? What is the cost of revealing your true self in a time of trouble?

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