Student Life

“The Dragon” Captivates Audiences With Soviet Satire

By Sheridan S. ’26

Walking around campus in the beginning of November, it was impossible to miss the bright red posters dotting Crystal’s Upper School. Those posters, featuring artwork by Elena K. ‘25, advertised the 2022 Upper School play, The Dragon. Directed by Ben Fisher, The Dragon ran for three days in November at the Upper School’s Eric Bovet Theatre. 

Written by Evgeny Shvarts and adapted by Crystal’s own Mr. Fisher, The Dragon tells the story of a town ruled by a ruthless three-headed Dragon (played by Brody C. ‘23, Timmy R. ‘23, and Tristyn K. ‘23) who demands tribute in the form of young women of the village. However, everything changed when a traveling young knight called Lancelot (played by Aryav D. ‘23) arrives and challenges the Dragon to a duel to protect the chosen maiden, Elsa (played by Ila N. ‘23). The people of the town (played by a mix of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors) are bewildered by the sudden events and watch with the assistance of the Peddler (played by Shubham M. ‘23) who presents them with various inventions. 

With help of a witty cat named Mittens (played by Lena K. ‘23), Lancelot wins the duel and the town is placed in the control of the Mayor (played by Skyler A. ‘23) and his son, Henry (played by Arnav V. ‘23). Unfortunately, these two men are equally as malign as the former ruler. Lancelot returns to find the Mayor forcing Elsa to marry him and blackmailing her father, Charlemagne (played by Dylan A. ‘23). Lancelot observes that “the Dragon needs to be killed in each and every one of you,” but instead of using violence, Elsa powerfully demands that they must stop living in a fairytale. 

The show featured an incredible cast and phenomenal ‘crü’. The Dragon included visual effects unlike any other, including two of the Dragon’s heads falling from the ceiling in two dramatic moments. Though not under the stage lights, the Crü worked extremely hard to make the costumes, props, set, lights, and much more. In addition to the hardworking students, it is important to note the amazing faculty and staff that worked on the show, including Ms. Berti, Mr. Lange-McPherson, and Ms. Cox. 

In the Director’s Notes, Mr. Fisher describes the play as exploring “how oppressed people become enthusiastic cheerleaders for the systems that keep them disenfranchised,” tying into the play’s commentary of Stalinist Russia. He adds that “the most important lesson is to not look away” and hopes that this play can lead to bigger discussions about Russia and similar countries. 

Adam B. ‘26, who portrayed Townsperson #16, said the story was a “symbol of how autocratic power can be transferred.” When not on stage, he was very impressed by the Crü, and described them as “always working hard.” And though the cast traditions are kept a secret from the public, it is easy to tell that the cast had a lot of fun behind the scenes. 
Next for Crystal theatre is the musical Grease in March, where there will be plenty of opportunities for actors, singers, dancers, and Crü! 

Categories: Student Life

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