To the Editor:
I had the great pleasure of seeing the high school production of “Chess” several weeks ago at the Performing Arts Center. This was a very complex musical, with acting, dance,and singing to a very difficult score that has numerous chord changes within songs.
I was totally enthralled with the efforts of the actors, singers, and dancers, as well as the technical aspect of this play. The staging was magnificent, the use of screens very successful, setting up a variety of moods that seemed very professional.
I was a little dismayed at the review in The Times that said it was hard to follow the storyline. It certainly was not simplistic by any means, but it was very obvious to me what was going on in the play, both in the immediate relationships between actors at a personal level and the larger Cold War scenario that was always present.
I grew up with this stuff, high school in the 1960s. By the time of this chess match, I had already moved to Martha’s Vineyard and embarked on my career in art. I love all the arts and see as much theater as possible. I cannot express strongly enough how lucky these high school students are to be exposed to such challenging work that is being offered there.
“Rent” is a good example as well. I took my daughter and some of her friends last year to an experimental version of Samuel Beckett, heady stuff. Not the kind of offerings I got at Durfee High School in Fall River. Lucky us.