For theatre students at St. Bernard Prep School it was their first time out in the twenty-five year history of the newly formed prep school to participate in the Trumbauer District Festival at Florence High School in Florence, Alabama. Under the direction of Barbara Guthrie, the SBP troupe performed The Game. The one act, four-character allegory play, is an “English morality play” written by Louise Bryant.
The play centers around characters of Death (Jack Palmer) and Life (Elizabeth Schweers) vying with a toss of the dice for the lives of the nameless “The Youth,” a male poet (J.C. Allbritton), and “The Girl,” a dancer (Jenna Tischler). Each of the two young people decide that their life is not worth living for lack of love, but Life helps them both realize that what they had called love was really just desire. After The Girl dances to two of The Youth’s poems, they each decide they have now found real love. A debate about the meaning of life and its value ensues, but ultimately it’s realized that the toss of dice will determine the young people’s fate: Life ultimately wins both tosses. The play makes a strange jump out of allegory when contemporary references to the War are thrown in early on: at one point Life is willing to trade the two youths to Death for “Kaiser Wilhelm, the Czar of Russia, George of England and old Francis Joseph and later for an army of soldiers. When Death asks her why she cares so little for soldiers, choosing the two “dreamers” over them, Life replies that “someday the dreamers will chain you to the earth, and I will have the game all my way.” However, after Death leaves, she declares in the play’s last line: “I must never let him know how much I mind losing soldiers. They are the flower of youth—there are dreamers among them.”
An outstanding performance placed Schweers and Palmer in the All Star Cast as well as earned them honors as best actress, and best supporting actor. The St. Bernard Troupe was also awarded the best costume award.
St. Bernard will perform The Game as part of three one-act plays on Thursday, November 6 and Saturday, November 8 at 7p.m. in the Heidrich Building. Other plays to be performed are Happily Never After and The Potman Spoke Sooth.