PB Perspectives Presents: Decision Height

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PB Perspectives Presents: Decision Height

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November saw some students take flight in Paint Branch Perspectives’ presentation of Meredith Dayna Levy’s play Decision Height. The Perspective’s talented actors and crew took an empowering story of female pilots and turned it into a magical evening for the audience.

The story of Decision Height provides a powerful message about teamwork, friendship, and female empowerment. The six main characters in the show are Virginia Hascall, played by Safiya Muthaliff, Eddie Harknell, played by Abigail Sciannella, Norma Jean Harris, played by Athena Kalargyros, Rosalie Hartson, played by Ja’Niya Redman, Alice Hawkins, played by Anna Petersen, and Carol Henderson, played by Maddie Rose Halpin. They used their strong chemistry to bring the six women to life on stage. The six women maintain a strong connection through success and rough times, always coming out the other side together.

The story begins with the six main characters meeting each other on the first day of the Women Air Force Service program. Each of the main characters come from different walks of life, but they all have the same goal: to serve their country through the war. Throughout the play, the characters have to go through many hardships. One of the characters had to wash out of the program because of family issues, another had to deal with the fear of never seeing her husband ever again, and one of the main characters dies. These women had to go through a lot but by graduation, they learned a lot, of important life lessons and they became even more united not just as BFFs but as sisters.

Muthaliff, whose plays the lead role, felt really happy to be part of another Perspective show, her 5th, and will truly miss being part of it in the future. “My experience of being the lead actress in the play [this fall] was very interesting and really fun because it was the first time we had an all-female cast,” stated Muthaliff. “And that was the really the fun part of the play. And playing a lead role was great. It was a lot of work but we got there.”

Allyyah Johnson, a member of the ensembles, also felt happy being apart of the play. ‘My experience of being one of the ensembles of the play was really cool. I really got to know how plays in high school actually work because as a freshman I really had no idea how it going to work and the environment was great.”

While the actors generally get the accolades, they know that without the behind the scenes people there would be no show. For this production, like all others, there was a lot of hard work taking place backstage. With a team of 35 talented students building the set, making gorgeous costumes, and creating lighting and sound effect. Technical Director Mrs. Ryan and director Ms. Perkins guided them as they worked to create a magnificent set that feels like the 1940s.

MaryGrace Ruebens worked very hard as stage manager to make “Decision Heights” one of the best falls plays ever. This is her 7th show and she is excited to lead the crew. “My experience as a stage manager is very interesting because I had to work with many different types of personalities and I had to make people corroborate when normally they won’t and I had to be the mediator between Ms. Perkins and the students.”

Ms. Perkins was proud of the entire crew and was happy how the play went overall. However, she can’t help but wish there was more support from the community. “I was very excited to put on this show: an all-female cast telling a female story that was so important but not told very often. The Women Air Force Service Pilots paved the way for many of us,” she said. “I enjoyed working with the girls to learn about what they did for us and how things have changed since then–and stayed the same. I do wish we had more support from the community and the school. Doing nine weeks of tremendous work and having only 50 people coming to the first show is pretty heartbreaking.”

The fall play was really something special and, as Ms. Perkins alluded to, it is unfortunate that there wasn’t a larger level of support from the school and community. For those who missed this show or who would like to support Perspectives’ next performance, clear your spring calendar, because Annie will be gracing the stage.

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PB Perspectives Presents: Decision Height