Worth The Wait: Drama Returns To The Theater


Elizabeth Tippens

Chase Bochenek, Sara Banks, Maguire Crowe, Aaron Haack, Ella Greer, Lareina Allred were finally back on stage on May 15 in their performance of Fortress.

Nobody ever said that growing up was easy. Fights with parents, first loves, and navigating the treacherous terrain of the popular kids are among the most complex parts of adolescence. These are some of the themes explored in Dominion High School’s production of “Fortress,” a one-act by Michael Scanlan that was initially published in 1988 and follows the story of Billy from when he’s nine to a teenager.

“Fortress” was the play that Dominion High School decided to use for their VHSL one-act competition piece. The show was beautifully stage-managed by the talented Logan Downes, who created a beautiful foundation for the performance with her attention to detail. Another outstanding technical element that needs to be mentioned is the fantastic lighting done by Andrew Joyner. Joyner knew how to create a unique sense of ambiance throughout the show by utilizing minimal blackouts and spotlights.

With impressive tech to back them up, one can only expect the actors to be just as great, and they surpassed our expectations. The stand-out role of the night goes to Lareina Allred, who played Kim, Billy’s friend and love interest since he was a child. Allred carried the show with her expressive features and a true understanding of her character. She also spent a lot of the show as a partial narrator and beautifully helped guide the audience through the tragic events of Billy’s life.

Acting alongside the talented Lareina Allred was Maguire Crowe, the show’s Billy. Billy is a complex character to understand, as we see throughout the play, and Crowe captured his essence perfectly. His best portrayal of the character was when Billy is eight at the beginning of the show. Crowe played a very believable eight-year-old without making the character seem superficial or too young. Crowe was also very good at being slow and deliberate with his language and attitude as Billy grew up; this helped the audience differentiate between Billy’s ages throughout the production.

The time and effort put into the show by Dominion high school shined through in their final product. From the technical elements to their fantastic acting, “Fortress” is a show for the ages. It left the audience wanting more and told us a believable story about childhood that anyone could relate to.