On October 27th, Sandia’s thespian Troupe 879, otherwise known as the Fourth Wall Theatre Company, won the NMAA One-Act Competition at UNM with their performance of “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind”. The students in the Fourth Wall Theatre Company are mostly 17 years old, with a single freshman working the lights. They all say that as a whole they never expected to win, and thought they only got 3rd place. After it was announced that they won, Ryan Morris, the director and drama teacher, even cried.
When asked about the show, Ryan Morris noted how difficult the production was. He says, “When the kids performed, I thought they did really well, it was a very technically difficult show… they had to set up all of our tech and sound and we had 45 minutes to do that in a space the kids weren’t familiar with.” Morris said that the transitions in the show were make or break, but that the actors were able to master them. And even though the show was incredible and Troupe 879 won, all of the students were very humble and complimentary of others.
Director and actors alike say that preparing for the show was incredibly stressful. The actors had rehearsals every day that would run late, and they had to prepare individual pieces as well as their one-act. But still the actors would ask to stay later to work, and Morris says “That passion, that drive inspired me as a teacher. They really deserve to be recognized for that show.” This show was both hard to perform and to direct, but the drama department put in many hours of dedicated preparation and this is reflected in the final production.
This type of theatre is called Neo-futurism, which was described as “a play within a play”. This form of theatre is also referred to as meta theatrics, which could be compared to meta cognition, which is the action of thinking about thinking. This specific type of theatre was especially difficult for the drama department, and one actor described it as “playing you playing someone else.”
All in all, Troupe 879 worked extremely hard on this play, putting in countless hours of preparation for the performance. They absolutely deserved to win, and all of Sandia is proud that they’re part of our community. If you want to see Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, watch it at Sandia in the Performing Arts Center on November 30th and December 1st.