by Emma Waywood
If the stress of school is making you feel like a fool, the DeVries Theatre production of “Fools” is the perfect remedy to the classroom blues.
Surprisingly witty and chock-full of comedic gold, this show will make you understand what it really means to find self-worth.
Set in a late 19th century village, we follow the character of Leon Tolchinsky, a teacher who tutors a young girl named Sophia. He soon discovers that this humble town is cursed with a plague of stupidity, which makes it much worse when he realizes that he is falling in love with his pupil. It’s in stark contrast to last year’s fall play, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” where the tears shed were ones of sadness rather than mirth.
A small cast of 10, the actors do an excellent job of portraying influential themes through a thin curtain of banter.
“There are very real themes in the play and in the production itself that are about the true nature of intelligence,” dramaturg Zach Krauss, senior Music, Pharmacy, and Molecular and Cellular Biology major, said. “But a lot of them are kind of hidden underneath a whole bunch of jokes that keep hitting against the audience for the entirety of the show.”
Andrew Stanley, a senior Biblical studies major, who plays Something Something Snetsky (yes, that’s his real name), in the production, described it as having “a lot of dad jokes,” and assures the audience of the show’s complete lack of pressure.
Due to the time period the play is set in, both cast and crew conducted extensive research in order to make every aspect realistic. From costumes, to mannerisms, to accents, an important question had to be raised, “What Would They Have Done?” When seated at a table to eat, who would be served first? Would a character of this station address an upper class character in a certain way, perhaps with some hint of an emotion like fear in their tone? The littlest of details are made immensely more astronomical in the eyes of the show business world.
This is even more evident when viewing the set. Even the roofs of the homes had to undergo strict scrutiny to ensure that no new aspect had been added that would not have existed in the nineteenth century. Though we as an audience may not initially notice, loving care has gone into this classical piece that certainly sets it apart.
It takes more than just some great sets and killer one-liners to pull this play off, however. The actors start each rehearsal with intense warm ups, vocal exercises, and stretches before they even touch the stage.
“You wouldn’t do a marathon without stretching first,” stage manager and senior theatre major Raven Simmons said. “You wouldn’t go do a concert without warming up your instrument. As actors, our bodies are our instruments, so we have to treat them as such.”
Despite this, Stanley said that the actors and crew continue to have an incredible time. Krauss admitted that he continues to laugh at the jokes each rehearsal, though he says he’s heard them enough times to have them memorized.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to laugh socks off at this fun, lively showpiece, which debuts Oct. 4th and lasts through the 14th. Tickets for “Fools” are on sale now at the Information Desk at the Stevens Students Center or online at cedarville.edu/theatreproductions.
Emma Waywood is a freshman journalism major and an arts and entertainment reporter for Cedars. She enjoys singing in Concert Chorale, watching reruns of Friends, and writing random novel ideas that never get anywhere.