Upon arriving in the Studio Theater of CFA, I noticed that nearly every seat of the opening night showing of “Let Me Hear You Whisper” was taken up by students and family. As I looked around for a seat, I read the program handed to me at the entrance.
Sophomore Marion Frank directed the play written by Paul Zindel, which first premiered back in 1969. Zindel’s play focusing on the scientific research that is put on animals under secrecy, until a brave custodial worker speaks out against the wrongdoings of the science lab. While reading the program, I noticed that a student was going to be playing the role of a dolphin. Confused and skeptical about what I was about to witness, I was all ears. Between the dolphin, the janitors and the other employees, everyone in this cast blew me away.
The show began with the scientists, played by senior Sosy Fleming and freshman Rose Stout, picking and poking at the dolphin, speaking in a tone that concluded that they are frustrated with how the dolphin is reacting. After exiting the stage, Helen, played by freshman Hannah Noel, and Miss Moray, played by sophomore Emma Bohman, walked on stage. Helen was just hired to be a custodian for the floor that hosts the dolphin and soon finds out from co-janitor Danielle, played by senior Shannon Mindlin, that they are testing the dolphin, who is played by freshman Hannah Hamlin, to figure out its language and teach it to communicate with humans.
After the 45 minute run of the show, we learn that the dolphin was ignoring the scientists, even though it could communicate with Helen. The dolphin knew what the scientists were working to achieve, which consisted of communicating with animals for war. Helen tried to save the dolphin but was asked to leave before the scientists realized she was the only one the dolphin spoke to. Regretting their actions, they try to get her back, but she had already walked away in a rage of glory. It ends with the dolphin uttering the word “love” for a heart-warming a tender ending to the student-run show.
The most intriguing role to me seemed to be Bohman’s Miss Moray, who executed the role with grace and truly distinguished the character to the best of her ability. The role required a quality that made the character come off as charming but overwhelming. Bohman emphasized these qualities with dignity and ease, and it was quite impressive.
The other character that seemed to take me by surprise was Helen, played by Noel. Helen had a sassy yet shy personality. She was the supposed “good” employee that got her work done and went home without a fuss. She had to break out of her shell and finally talk back to authority. This required a discipline in hiding her rage until finally tested towards the end, and Noel accomplished this role exquisitely.
There was not a single role within the play that was executed poorly. Hamlin’s dolphin had the best dolphin noises I’ve heard to date. Mindlin as Danielle was a comedic relief that offered the play a light-hearted emphasis. The scientists, play by Fleming and Stout, were the stuck up researchers that you would expect within a research lab for war animals. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome and the execution of each cast member.
Director Frank put together a rock-star cast that truly created the best show I could have asked for. The direction and production of the show “Let Me Hear You Whisper” kept me intrigued and left me with a warm feeling at the end of the show.