By Emily Hanson || Arts and Leisure Editor
A little over a year ago, when I took my first steps into my Playwriting I class in the Writers House, I met about ten classmates who would change my life forever. One of them was Shoshana Frank ’24, who I immediately bonded with over living in Weis, objectively the best College House on campus. Over the course of the semester, we were all tasked with writing a one-act play from scratch— no easy feat. We criticized each other’s work, let our friends hold our dialogue under a microscope, and held dramatic readings hours before class, well before our professor arrived.
Shoshana’s play is called Platform 7. In the script, the protagonist gets caught in a relationship of domestic violence, which develops over the course of the show. Her friends knew that Caroline, the main character, was drifting away, but they had no idea how to help them. The show addressed the heartbreak of not only those who experience domestic violence but their friends who watch their silent struggles. I recall the time I spent working with Shoshana on her scenes with fondness, and every idea she produced was carefully crafted and fitting. The subjects she dealt with were extremely emotional, but she handled them with tact and more skill than I could have dared.
Last Thursday, opening night, I walked into the Green Room Theater with the knowledge that I’d be watching a masterpiece, and I was right. Shoshana has dedicated her semester so far into planning, directing, and turning Platform 7, with a talented group of actors and stage crew, into an actual on-stage show. I could not imagine the pride she must have felt on opening night, to see her hard work finally coming to fruition.
One element of Platform 7 that was particularly innovative was the decision was shifting of personas throughout the show. Aislinn Wallin ‘24, who primarily played the role of Caroline, was a standout performer. The rest of the cast, including Kayla Majia, Carolyn South, Amalie Kinney, Andrew Rosica, Ryan Squires, and Meg Smith, each played their own role and filled the persona of Caroline in select scenes. Though the audience would tell when other characters were filling the persona of “Caroline” by the presence of the color purple, every actor brought something different to the character and the dynamic of the play. Shoshana expertly conveyed the very thought-provoking concept that anyone could be Caroline, in such a situation, suffering in silence; we must pay as much attention as we can to our friends and what they are going through.
At the end of the play, Caroline has seemingly reached a breaking point, and we see them pack a bag and head to the train station. Each scene break flashed lights and the sounds of the train whistling and traveling, which was a nice, unexpected touch. When Caroline reaches the train station, the rest of the cast of Carolines stand together, and we never really see what choice they make, to board the train or turn back. But it’s very clear that this choice, to get help when you may need it the most, is never as straightforward or easy as it may appear.
The quaint, intimate space of the Green Room Theater was the perfect place to see this show come to life. I applaud the efforts of every single member of the cast and crew who contributed to the telling of this important story. It is clear from this production that the members of the GRT club consider themselves a family and take great pride and joy in their work. The crew’s dedication and work ethic definitely paid off. I look forward to returning to the GRT for more shows in the future, especially if they are as incredible as Platform 7.
Sophomore Emily Hanson is the Arts and Leisure Editor. Her email is email@example.com.