Cry Havoc: Like Nothing Wantagh’s Ever Done Before

Jenna Miller, Associate Editor

When I came to see Wantagh’s Advanced Drama class put on their yearly spring production, I had no idea as to what to expect. Searching up Cry Havoc’s name on Google brought up no results, and all I had known prior to watching Cry Havoc was that it would be a version of Shakespeare’s famous Julius Caesar but with an updated setting. Once I watched Cry Havoc, though, I was amazed. While it was another stellar production directed by Mrs. Heather Naughton, it was like nothing the school had ever done before – and the cast members agreed.

“It was a completely different experience for both the audience and myself,” reported cast member Delaney Skelton. “But, I enjoyed it and I was glad to be a part of it.”

The play utilized the original script from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, largely unedited for the most part though the popular song from the movie The Hunger Games, “The Hanging Tree,” was incorporated into the script. I had expected the play to use modern English as the setting was changed from ancient Rome to a high school, so it was interesting seeing the old English lines uttered in a modern setting. The cast was phenomenal and delivered their lines with such skill; it didn’t feel awkward or out-of-place, but rather creative and just plain amazing.

The characters of Caesar (Samantha Walsh) and Cassius (Lindsey Whiteman) themselves were reimagined as teenage girls competing for the title of homecoming queen; Brutus (Emily Stacy) was also retooled into a girl, and Mark Antony (John Sileo) was depicted as Caesar’s boyfriend. Other featured roles included Billy DeVito as Casca and Victoria Burruano as Lucius.

What especially set Cry Havoc apart from any other Wantagh production, though, was the unique seating set-up. Audience members were seated in chairs on the stage as opposed to in the typical audience section of the auditorium.

Overall, Cry Havoc was a nice breath of fresh air compared to the other musicals and dramas Wantagh has done. I hope to see more plays like this one done in the future; it’s probably one of my favorites of the Wantagh productions I’ve seen over the years.