Galileo: Fall play incorporates famous scientist

by Lorraine Wong

As history class teaches, Galileo was placed under house arrest for defying the church. However, his personal life has remained mostly in shadow to the public, until now.

This year’s Upper School Fall Play Galileo delves deeper and brings the details of his fight to the forefront. It demonstrates the power of the church and the timidity of scientific knowledge during the 17th century.

“It’s more of a debate between religion and politics, so the play itself does not necessarily make a strong statement either way….It makes the audience think, which is why I like it so much….I just want to raise issues and let the audience think on their own what they believe,” director Jeffrey Draper said.

Two actors, Kendra Moss (12) and Adi Parige (11), depict the title character.  They will portray different sides of him, though they are still on stage at the same time. Kendra represents the passionate side of Galileo that takes risks in the name of science, while Adi represents the side of him that indulges in comforts like food and family instead. The two actors are in the process of splitting Galileo’s lines to fit their respective personalities, highlighting Galileo’s internal struggle between science and home.

The two-sided Galileo is not the only prominent character of the play, though. His close friend Sagredo the mathematician, played by Namrata Anand (12), adds important arguments to the debate. Christina Li’s (11) character Fulganzio, also known as the Little Monk, also steals the spotlight with a four minute monologue.

“Every scene offers an argument, or a nugget, about what this debate’s about. Different characters are brought in to create this argument, to voice the argument. There’s a lot of great characters that come in to do that,” Draper said.

Some actors find that the memorization process for the play is not so hard: “In the process of the entire rehearsal, you go through a scene three times, more or less. And in those three times, you get more comfortable with the words,” Kendra said.

Erica Hansen (12) is the Stage Manager of Galileo. Her position entails organizing the cast and keeping track of all information concerning schedules, conflicts, contacting people, cues, and props, among other responsibilities. Though she stays behind the scenes, her job is crucial to the running of the play, according to Draper.

Even in the early stages of the play, the cast has started to bond. “I do feel a strong connection with everybody in the cast,” Kendra said. Adi said that by the performance date, “Everyone just becomes like a family….Everyone becomes really close.”

The Upper School’s Fall Play Galileo will be running Thursday through Saturday on October 29-31 in the Blackford Cafetorium. Each production of the play begins at 7:30 p.m. and runs for a little over two hours, ending before 10.