MVHS theatre returns to live performances after two years with Sense and Sensibility


Naina Srivastava

Actors excitedly scramble to their places as the audience stares at the stage in anticipation. Lights, camera, action. Spotlights turn to the stage to reveal a cast straight out of 18th century England — an adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

The Spartan Theatre Company returned to the stage last week from Nov. 4 to 6, resuming in person performances after being virtual for nearly two years. “Sense and Sensibility” follows the lives of the Dashwood sisters after the death of their father, which leaves them financially struggling. 

“You can definitely sense the energy and excitement,” said director Elizabeth Berg. “I think everyone is just so appreciative of the opportunity, and even with the weirdness, like having to wear masks, [it’s exciting] that we can make it work and that we have an audience again.”

In addition to both cast and audience members being required to wear masks, doors were left open throughout the shows to comply with COVID-19 regulations.

“It’s incredible [to perform in person]—recorded shows are not the same as live theatre.” said senior Eva Spaid, who played Marianne Dashwood, “I really like how the cast acts off each other, [there are] always little moments that are different in each scene, and that’s what makes it interesting.”

Junior Ani Lawit, who played Mrs. Jennings, echoed Spaid’s sentiments about returning to in person performances. 

“I think you get to build a community a lot easier in person versus on Zoom,” Lawit said. “ It was still there on Zoom, but there’s something about being in person and all being in the same space and acting off of each other; It’s just really special and you can’t get that anywhere else.”

Although Berg is new to the school, she said she was excited to “shepherd the relaunch after so much time off.” According to Berg, over 70 enthusiastic students were involved in the production; it was “a collaboration among a huge number of students” from the cast, the crew, and the stage prop class.

“Coming back to it, it’s so much stronger,” said Spaid. “It really makes me happy to see everyone so excited about theatre.”