Imagine having to decide to leave our friends for something you really want to do but at the same time second guess yourself because of how much you’ll miss them. This is how Christopher Robin, played by Moses Silva, felt in the Paint Branch Perspectives performance of the play The House at Pooh Corner.
The House at Pooh Corner by A. A Milne is the first in-person show for Perspectives since the pandemic. Elephant’s Graveyard and Online Breakups were online productions and when the pandemic hit in 2020, The Little Mermaid got canceled. This is why everyone was so excited for The House at Pooh Corner, the first show in person in two years.
The show starts off with Christopher Robin calling a “mergency” meeting to tell Pooh (Celia Madrigal), Piglet (Mackenzie Ezegbunam), Rabbit (Anaya Skeete), Early (Jessica Monthe), Late (Diana Dang and Aleah Nash), Eeyore (Zy’ann McCoy), Owl (Gladis Padilla), Kanga (Melody Segal), and Ruu (Sydney Sheppard) that he’s being sent away for an education. He doesn’t want to go so they all agree on running away. In the process of running away, they have to overcome some obstacles like encountering Tigger (Langston Warren), a mischievous animal that is always causing trouble.
All of the animals decide that they must lure Tigger to the South Pole and hope to lose him there; however, the plan backfires and they are the ones who got lost instead. Christopher Robin goes to the place they are supposed to meet at and finds out everybody’s lost. After the animals find their way back to the North Pole, they meet with Christopher Robin and he comes to terms with the fact that he has to go get an education. He realizes that education is a big important part of life. After all of this, the animals stand by him and say goodbye as Christopher Robin goes off.
This show was definitely a big way to come back after being away from a live performance for over a year. During the opening night show, the crowd was filled with laughter which was especially provided by Eeyore, who brought many moments of joy. The crowd seemed to especially love the duo Kanga and Ruu as they proceed to go back and forth comedically. The two actors worked very well together to play “the mother and daughter role” which may be due to their close friendship off-stage.
During rehearsals, all of the actors grew closer as they worked to perfect the show. Senior Celia Madrigal, who plays Pooh, explains this by saying, “most of the actors are new and I have not met most of them ever, so it was really fun to get to know them. I’m such good friends with many of them now and I’m so thankful that they joined.” Celia has been part of Perspectives since 10th grade and this is their fourth show.
The set was plastered with various types of big trees, a rock where Christopher Robin mostly sat, and bushes. The stage floor was also painted multiple shades of green to fit the aesthetic. All of this definitely made the whole layout of the play seem like the audience was in the story.
Perspectives director, Ms. Perkins, was very relaxed the whole show during opening night and was very pleased with the performance. “I am amazed that with only three of these kids ever having worked on a show onstage and backstage that I was not concerned at all,” she said. “I’m so amazed by that.”
A week before the show when everybody left after rehearsal, she sat in the audience and looked at the set – and it looked exactly how she wanted it. Technical director, Mr. Bailey said that his favorite part was the excitement of everybody just before it started in the green room. He noted that he enjoyed how everyone was feeling nervous but confident.
Brianna Broadnax, the props manager for the show, said that her favorite part was painting the trees. She noted that “it got annoying because we did 10 or 11 of them, but it was still fun.”
If you have not caught this great show yet, you have two more chances: Friday night at 7 pm and Saturday at 3 pm.