Last Friday, Cupertino Actors Theater, or CAT, opened with their new production, The End of the World (with Prom to Follow). Three staff members from The Prospector attended the play on its opening night (thanks to complimentary tickets from the CAT). Here’s what we thought:
The End of the World follows a group of students who wake up one day to find that everyone they know, except for those who attend Charles M. Russell High School, have disappeared overnight. The play takes place in the town of Great Falls, Montana and focuses on the lives of typical high school students as the world comes to an end. In addition to the challenge of getting along across different social cliques, the students face apocalypse in the form of an “approaching white light,” which represents the transition into maturity experienced by all teenagers. Similar to Lord of the Flies, the characters are forced to find a way to govern themselves and prevent anarchy.
CAT’s performance last year in Cabaret was widely acclaimed for the dramatic intensity of its plot and the professionalism of its actors. While Cabaret set the bar high for drama performances at Tino, CAT actors continue to meet and even exceed the audience’s expectations with impressive musical and acting abilities in The End of the World (with Prom to Follow).
The blending of humor and serious events throughout the production shows that the actors of CAT are equally skilled in both comedic and dramatic performances. The characters, especially the main characters Julie, Terrell, and Tom, are effectively portrayed as realistically flawed teenagers with conflicting ideas on the self-governing of the student body. The play touches on complex relationships between friends, couples, enemies, and especially shows the dynamics of a high school love triangle. The show itself was further enhanced by the expertise of the crew members. Technicians did a great job of putting together sound, lighting, and other effects. The light that surrounded the town was an integral part of the show, and light technicians did a great job of visually representing the "Light", slowly encapsulating the town and the students.
Maybe it’s because we’re journalists ourselves, but we think that we’re speaking for everyone when we say that Shelly and Sheldon, the editor-in-chief siblings of the school newspaper are the best characters since Emcee from Cabaret. It was obvious from the crowd’s reactions every time they swiveled onto the stage in their chairs that they were definitely the audience’s favorites.
Over the past few months, CAT has put together a show that is funny, entertaining and meaningful. We walked away from The End of the World smiling, but also thinking about the deep questions from the play: “What does dying mean?” “What is on the other side of the light?” and “Does God exist?” are thoughts that draw audience members into the show. The End of the World is like an M&M: it’s a great play with a coating of really funny and relevant humor surrounding deeper meaning on the inside. If you love M&Ms, I’m sure you’ll love The End of the World too.