Review of the Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone Show

By: Caley Nell

This magical tale, performed on February 19th and February 20th in the stunning Oak Creek Performing Arts Center, introduces an ordinary girl who falls asleep and dreams about being the main character of the book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. She meets all of her favorite characters during this experience; however, their actual character names are comically changed in this “dream” due to copyright infringement. Being a spin-off of Harry Potter, the story was recognizable while having a playful twist with many hilarious additions that made the audience burst into laughter. I enjoyed it when the “Censor” – a character who supervises the content of the play – came on the stage and modified aspects of the story. For example, she changed the word “stone” to “magic rock.” Then, every time the characters would read the lines “magic rock” they became visibly annoyed. The props and wardrobe were also skillfully selected, complementing the vibrant PAEC lighting very well. For example, during the house selection scene, actors were given color-coordinated ties that lit up with the sidelights.

Meghan Braun, starring as the lead role, Sally Cotter

Meghan Braun played the lead role of Sally Cotter. Meghan has done theater since her freshman year and has participated in every play performed at Oak Creek High School. As an avid reader, she was able to relate to the character’s yearning to be in the world of fantasy. Coincidentally, the Harry Potter series is one of Meghan’s favorites. When she heard about this show, she decided to audition for Sally because she wanted a more significant role. Meghan has observed others take on main roles with such grace and stated that she hoped to “follow in their footsteps.” However, she mentioned that having similar dialogue made it challenging when remembering upcoming scenes. Regardless, she loved being able to work in a pleasant environment surrounded by lovable friends and staff. 

Caleb James, playing Ed Molar

Caleb James had a creative and entertaining way of telling the house rules. He portrayed the role of Ed Molar, based on the character Tom Riddle from Harry Potter. Caleb thought the most challenging part of this play was that the scenes had a lot of movement. I asked if doing it in the dark added to this, but he commented, “not really because we got used to it.” Caleb auditioned for this role because he loved how evil and mischievous the character was. His favorite part was his monologue. As a first-time villain, Caleb did a wonderful job. His comically haunting “Muahahaha!” – which he delivered each time he left the stage – was actually improv!

Lighting played a significant part in this production. Whenever a new scene was about to start, the spotlights would dim to complete darkness before slowly coming back on when the characters were in position. There were many flashing lights during certain scenes that were engaging to watch, while also emphasizing the magic of Frogbull. During one scene, the stage was completely dark when an explosion of light went off, revealing Lord Murderdeath. The lighting skills of this tech crew, which consisted of 4 people, totally added to the performance. 

David Alonso

I got the chance to talk to David Alonso, who ran the spotlight for this production. He said the most challenging part was finding the right lighting effect to use for different scenes. He loved experimenting with lighting and light cues (Shannon Martin designed cues for the show) as he prepared. A longtime theater-lover, David started out taking theater electives in middle school and continued to work on sets and props for the show Crazy for You. Seeing what the lighting crew accomplished for that show inspired him to take on this opportunity.

Hailee Bode was the director for Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone, and she said it was both interesting and challenging to select this cast since the show is a  parody. She explained that she needed dedicated performers who would be able to study their characters, while also mixing their own personalities into the roles. 

Everyone who was involved in the making of this play deserves congratulations for such a successful show and job well done!  Be sure to follow “theatreochs” on Instagram for information on upcoming plays!

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