ArtsNov 16, 2021

updated Nov 19, 2021

Live Theater Returns to MHS!

Men On Boats receives rave reviews

Congratulations to the MHS Theater Ensemble cast and crew of Men on Boats for three outstanding weekend performances of this timely play.

In this adventure dramedy written by Jaclyn Backhaus specifically for an all-female cast, our actor/explorers took on the recounting of an 1869 expedition to chart the course of the Colorado River with gusto. More than just “a one-armed captain and his crew of insane yet loyal volunteers,” their performance was funny, heartfelt, and endearing.

The MHS production starred Iva Knezevic ’24 as John Wesley Powell, with Tati Kheyfets ’23 and Malena Carraro ’24 as William Dunn and John Colton Sumner, Powell’s crewmates on his boat, the “Emma Dean.” Carolin Forssman ’24 and Inyene-Abasi Bell ’25 performed as Old Shady and Bradley, taking “Kitty Clyde’s Sister” downriver.

The production also featured EA Peña ’25 and Idalis De Jesus ’25 as brothers O.G. and Seneca Howland, who piloted “The No-Name,” and, in the “Maid of the Canyon,” Katie Lunden ’25 as Goodman, Emilie Coziol-Desy ’25 as Hall, and Molly Casey ’24 as Hawkins. EA, Idalis, and Katie also performed as Tsauwiat, The Bishop, and Mr. Asa — all characters on land.

Fall Play "Men On Boats" Cast Photos — by Kyla Gore ’24

Jen Jordan

First produced in 2015, Men on Boats, is a true-ish contemporary recounting of an 1869 expedition led by John Wesley Powell down the Colorado River. Along the way, Powell’s crew of 10 volunteers makes friends, gets on each other’s nerves, suffers losses, and repeatedly braves dangerous rapids, and this history is explored through a new critical lens.

This MHS production’s talented Technical Crew included Stage Managers Grey Carmel ’23 and Sophie Gentleman ’24, with Kyla Gore ’24, Margot Dionne ’24, Chloe Muellers ’25, Maddie Tillem ’24, and Sophie Tillem ’24 providing costume and props assistance, and Milie Madourie ’22 providing sound design. The play was directed by MHS Director of Theater and Dance Jen Jordan.

Bravo, MHS Theater Ensemble, and thank you to all who made this return to real, live, in-person theater possible!