Entertainment: Students Return to Perform, Commitment to Theatre Group Undiminished

Photo Credit: Stanley Jungleib

Former Grab Bag members Zachary Abt, Hannah Rosenfeld, Dana Rust, Margaret Ringler, and Claire Jungleib (from left) during a practice session for Far Away

This winter break, alumni of high-school-focused arts group Grab Bag Theater returned to put on an affiliated production and to foster their connection with the next generation of members.

For the group’s first alumni show, the actors chose to perform a one-act, Far Away by Caryl Churchill. Far Away tells the story of Joan over three scenes: her as a child at her aunt’s witnessing a terrible secret, working in a hat factory, and during the height of an almost incomprehensible war in which everything from the bees to the rivers have been recruited.

Margaret Ringler stage-managed Far Away. The actors were Dana Rust, Zachary Abt, Hannah Rosenfeld (who also directed), and Claire Jungleib. All M-A graduates, these students are now freshmen or sophomores in college.

The impetus for the show was to “bring our experiences in college back to the Grab Bag community,” explained Ms. Rosenfeld.

Even in college, the community of Grab Bag and theatre in general remain important for these students. Though Ms. Jungleib is the only one of the five attending a theatre-specific program, all find theatre influences their lives.

“I’m most excited to show the Grab Bag Community that your ties don’t have to end once you become an Alumni,” said Ms. Jungleib. “I want to show the new members what they should be excited for about Grab Bag, and how it has impacted me, giving me close friends, amazing opportunities, and a network of people who are just as passionate about the arts as I am.”

Rehearsals ran for just two weeks, including one day dedicated to picking a show and another to converting the office used as a performance space into a suitable stage. The two performances, at 2 and 7:30 on Wednesday, were successful at raising money for the non-profit, which will go towards financing their spring musical and other future events.

Grab Bag Theatre is a student-run organization dedicated to the arts, including visual and performing. for more information, see  http://www.grabbagtheater.com/