Theatre Centreville Presents Mutually Assured Destruction


Kayla Katounas

The company of Mutually Assured Destruction

Ashley Park and Kayla Katounas

From November 18th-20th, Theatre Centreville performed their fall play, Mutually Assured Destruction: 10 Plays About Brothers and Sisters by Don Zolidis.

The show was split up into two acts, which together contained ten different plays or sections that illustrated the various dynamics of sibling relationships. Each scene was set in a different decade, starting in 2015 and moving backwards one decade at a time to the 1920s. Each scene featured two different actors, who did unique research to prepare for their role. Alexa Hunt, who played Andrea in the scene set in 1968, “did a lot of research on what to do with [her] hair” to learn more about the 60s. Meanwhile, senior Ela Howard, who took on the role of Megan in the third scene, shared personal connections with her character, saying, “I have five siblings, so I can also relate to [my character] in that way. I get a lot of different dynamics between them and each of my siblings I interact with differently, and I feel like I incorporate all of my relationships with them into this character.” Like Hunt and Howard, many other actors put a lot of preparation into their performances after rehearsing since early in the school year. 

Understudy Danielle Krafsig learned two roles, always standing by in case the principal actors couldn’t perform. “When I go to rehearsals, we typically make sure the main cast member is the one who gets all the attention, and then at the end, they let the understudy go through it and make sure they have it down, just in case we would need to go on,” said Krafsig. Though they may end up unseen, aside from their appearance through a door during the curtain call, understudies play a very important role in the theater. In her free time offstage, she said she also helped with transitions between scenes and helped other actors with their hair and makeup.

The play also had a large technical crew, who handled everything from lighting, props, and set to costumes and makeup. Laura Mineo, the head tech, described the job as “[managing] all of the technical departments, making sure that everything is getting done.” Along with this job, Mineo was the co-head of costumes, saying she “really enjoyed being able to put so many different kinds of costumes together because there are so many decades in the show.” There was a lot of attention to detail in the technical elements, like the sound, which focuses on the time periods by “playing songs that represent each decade [in the transition scenes],” according to head of sound Keshmin Curtusan. Meanwhile, Elisabeth Stuebner, head of lighting, said the lighting “isn’t too challenging,” liking that it is “nice and clean,” creating a simple yet effective lighting job. 

The set of the play (Kayla Katounas)

The play is said to be memorable in the sense of its unique timeline which influences the distinctive dialogues and garments. When asked about the plot of the production itself, Noora Seidou expressed that by first glance at the variety in costume, “you wouldn’t be able to guess what the show will be about.”  The timeline also is the foundation of the play’s structure. As Elisabeth Stuebner describes, “[The play is] made up of a bunch of little skits rather than one long, overarching plot. It’s a lot of fun to do due to its humorous nature.”

While working on the show, several people expressed how much they loved the community that the show’s company had created. Being new to theater, Danielle Krafsig said her favorite part about being in the show was the people. “I made a lot of friends who are great and supportive, and they’re people I’ll be friends with outside of theater,” said Krafsig. Similarly, freshman Jillian Couch mentioned, “Everyone in the program is so easy to get along with. It’s also nice to have a community of upperclassmen to look up to.” Additionally, Alexa Hunt said being in theater is “something that brings [her] a lot of joy.” During their final dress rehearsal, the cast was clearly having fun warming up and listening to music together before getting ready.

In addition to their appreciation of the theater program at the school, many of the cast members collectively agreed that nothing could match the pride and satisfaction regarding the final production. Noora Seidou shared, “Rehearsals can be a little draining at times, but my favorite part of being in plays is seeing the end product and the audience’s reactions. It’s all worth it in the end, and there is no other feeling than when the actors all come on stage receiving the audience’s applause.” The two months of work put in by both cast and crew felt nothing short of accomplishing.

The production itself was very impressive. All of the different elements came together to create an interesting and funny play. Each individual scene was unique, and the subtle changes between them, added to the impressive living room set, established the time period very well. All of the actors were funny, and their acting, along with their clothing, hair, and makeup, placed them perfectly in their time periods. The music from the time periods during the scene changes only added to this effect. Theatre Centreville should be proud of their work on Mutually Assured Destruction, and if you missed it, be sure to catch Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka in the spring!