Drama Club’s performance of Life, Off Book encourages students to accept their true selves


Will Sutton

Ophelia (Senior Casey Hussey) embraces Jeb (Senior Andersson Perry) after a vulnerable moment.

Mary Kelly Prosky Gilbert, Contributing Writer

Hingham High School is a community where talent and expression fill the halls. On Friday, the Drama Club illustrated this in this year’s Festival performance of Life, Off Book, in which many HHS actors and actresses demonstrated the art of theatre.

Festival, or “Festie,” is a competition many HHS students describe as “varsity drama.” After many hours of practice spanning over months, Drama Club will perform a 40-minute one-act-play in this competition against schools from across the state. The rest of the student body was fortunate enough to see a trial run of Life, Off Book on Friday before it hits prelims on Sunday, March 3rd. “Festie can be stressful at times, but it is also really fun,” Sophomore and cast member Colleen Keohane reflected. “The cast of Life, Off Book is the best and I cannot wait to compete with them this year.”

The dedicated cast and crew benefitted immensely from the close-knit group working on the show. Freshmen actress Morgan Hurley explained, “Life, Off Book, has been an incredible opportunity. As a freshman, I was worried I wouldn’t feel at home, but immediately I was part of a family within our Drama Club. The family is the reason I love theater.”

The play is an engaging piece that touches on topics that many students experience during their high school careers, including discovering their sexualities and truly accepting their identities. The play uses fundamentals from live theatre to illustrate the internal struggle of being a high schooler in a way in which many could relate to.

Senior Casey Hussey plays the lead role of Ophelia, a high school triple threat who expresses herself through theatre and dance. Ophelia and Jeb, a skilled pianist played by senior Anderson Perry, are childhood best friends who become a popular high school couple. Jeb, however, goes through a battle with his own sexuality that hinders the two’s relationship. The story uses multiple narrators to unfold the thoughts and feelings of each character. Hurley is one of these narrators. “I play Gracie, a rambunctious teenager. I have loved making this character my own and creating a story beyond the stage for this narrator,” she shared. 

As the play continues, Jeb and Ophelia part ways in a mission to discover their true identities. Ophelia is introduced to the character Jude, performed by sophomore Benton Perry, after finding his love letters in her locker. Jude is physically impaired and uses crutches to walk, but his disability does not stop him from connecting to Ophelia through her love of dance.

By the end of the play, Ophelia is lost, not knowing what life wants her to do or say next. This is when the Director, played by junior Lizzy Ford, encourages her to go “off book” and see where life takes her. This reveals the message that high school is a time for growth and discovery. Being able to accept change and who you are are key to moving forward in life.

“I thought it was an excellent representation of all the confusion that high schoolers go through,” sophomore Laura Dodd explained. “Whether it’s with love or friendships or fitting in, we all experience ups and downs and conflicts. We are all still trying to find out who we are and are becoming comfortable with our true selves.” The students of Hingham High left the auditorium that day with a feeling that it is okay to be themselves, even if the world seems against it. The Harborlight wishes this talented cast and crew good luck as they take on Festie. Break a Leg!