The cast of Berkley High School’s fall play, “Kodachrome,” rehearses a  scene before the show’s performances Nov. 15-17.

The cast of Berkley High School’s fall play, “Kodachrome,” rehearses a scene before the show’s performances Nov. 15-17.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Berkley students ready to tackle next play, ‘Kodachrome’

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published November 12, 2019

 The Grave Digger, played by Aaron Warrow, and the Hardware Store Owner, played by Elijah Bruening, rehearse a scene Friday, Nov. 8,  in the Berkley High School auditorium.

The Grave Digger, played by Aaron Warrow, and the Hardware Store Owner, played by Elijah Bruening, rehearse a scene Friday, Nov. 8, in the Berkley High School auditorium.

Photo by Deb Jacques

BERKLEY — The Berkley High School BeDrama Club’s fall play won’t take on the unusual structure one might expect.

The students’ fall show, which is set to bow this month, is “Kodachrome,” a play that features a series of connected vignettes that tell tales of love, loss, regret and retribution between various characters in a small Connecticut town.

The show will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 15-16, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Berkley High School auditorium, 2325 Catalpa Drive.

Despite the play’s uncommon structure, district Drama Coordinator and Play Director John Hopkins said that the students really took to it after they were able to do a read-through and see the story’s intricacy and the connections between the different characters.

With several weeks of rehearsals under their belt, Hopkins said Nov. 5 that the students had tightened up the show and have been running it from memory for a week, which “is kind of unheard of at this point in the past.”

“They’re so in tune with their characters, and I really feel like every rehearsal seems more like a collaboration between me and them than it is a rehearsal or just a regular play process,” he said. “They’re absolutely eating it up, and it’s a joy to watch.”

The characters in the play also stand out in that they mainly go by their professions, not names. The lead character and narrator, The Photographer, is played by senior Ashley Chalela.

What Chalela, 17, found most exciting about “Kodachrome” was how it told its story and how her character reacts and views everything that’s happening around her.

“(The Photographer) is very complex. She has a lot of different layers to her that are explored throughout the show,” she said. “She just has a lot of different colors to her, and she just … cares about everyone in the town.”

Chalela said that the cast members have been able to grow into their roles every day and become more of the characters they’re portraying, which is “cool to see.”

Even though Chalela has acted in every production that the BeDrama Club has produced since her freshman year, she said that performing in front of a crowd is still daunting.

“I care so much about portraying the role correctly, and I think all of us kind of feel that way,” she said. “We want to make sure that we are doing the role justice and making the audience feel and understand our character.”

Now that the students know the words and know where they should be on set at any given point, Hopkins is excited for them to now have a chance to get to know who these people are that they’re playing.

“I’m seeing from one run-through to the next so much growth and so much thoughtfulness that the kids are putting into not just how to act as a particular character, but how to be them,” he said. “They’re really seeing them as real people, which is so interesting, given that the character names are not the names of people.”

Tickets can be purchased at www.our.show/bedrama/koda chrome. For students and seniors, tickets cost $5 online and $10 at the door. For adults, tickets will cost $10 online and $15 at the door.