The End of the World and the Beginning of a Revelation

Kiana Schmitt, Staff Writer

  6,840,507,000 people living in the world.  6,840,506,352 people suddenly and inexplicably vanishing.  The remaining 352 people on Earth are the students of Charles M. Russel High School.  These terrified, perplexed, pubescent students are all left to fend for themselves with no parents, no rules, and no idea what to do next. The only thing they know is that there is an eerie, bright light surrounding their town and creeping closer and closer every day. Their darkly comedic story of survival is told through West High’s first original play: The End of the World: With Prom to Follow.
   With no other company but each other, the student body of Charles M. Russel High is thrown into unexpected isolation.  Accurately portraying a wide variety of stereotypes—jocks, rebels, super-Christians, preps, nerds, band geeks and burnouts—the play forces them all to put aside their differences and figure out how to endure the dire and unique circumstances.  There is a distinct shift in mood and tension between the characters.  Initially ecstatic about the deficiency of adult authority to govern their actions, everyone is all smiles and goes about shopping, eating, and partying as they please.  Within weeks, however, the students devolve into constant quarreling and acting upon primitive actions.  Some even go so far as to deface and raid private property.  To the dismay of the anarchy-supporting students, the majority agrees on the fact law and order must be established.  Act one ends with suspense in the wake of an accidental death. The plot thickens as the story progresses; friendships and relationships are disintegrated, new allies are formed, harsh words are exchanged among enemies, and an increasing number of students fall victim to the encroaching light.  At the play’s dramatic end, all of the students come to a mutual agreement and an abrupt, life-changing decision is made.
   The play was a success and forced members of the audience to question their own beliefs and consider what they would do in a similar situation.  Julia Barrett (10) shines in her performance as 17-year-old Julie Graham, the independent, strong, relatable protagonist of the show. Overall, the cast delivers; all of the actors committed to their characters and the specific personalities that they had to portray.