KCRA–“LEFT” ST. FRANCIS H.S. WORLD PREMIERE
David Blanchard and Thom Green, two close personal friends, who I met when making my film Nightbeats. They helped to coordinate the nightclub music, which David arranged and performed, and Thom played a small by pivotal part in the film.
A few months back I was coming out of the checkout line at Trader Joe’s and ran into Thom, who told me that they had a new show that they were going into rehearsals on and when he told me what it was I said, “I have to come out and do a story.”
Left is inspired by Lord of the Flies, the classic novel about a group of boys who are stranded on a deserted island in the wake of an unspecific world-wide disaster and must survive and create a society of their own. In developing their own spin on the idea, they transposed all-boys into all-girls. A brilliant idea.
It is being produced and performed at St. Francis Catholic High School in Sacramento, California, an outstanding all-girls school with a premiere drama department.
I shot the story on Tuesday evening, March 1, after working a full day at KCRA. It was tech week on the show and this was one of their final run-throughs. I got there in time to shoot the second half of the show, then shot some interviews for this news story, as well as for an expanded version, which I hope to run in two weeks on Common Ground, KCRA’s once-a-month magazine program.
It should also be noted that in addition to writing the entire show–the script, music & lyrics–David and Thom also performed in the orchestra/band, which was on stage and visible behind the see-through set.
Several years ago David and Thom wrote another show, where they wrote the script, or “book” in theatre terms, and the lyrics and music, for a show that also premiered at St. Francis Catholic High School called Seven, a twisted take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I did the following story on Seven for KCRA.
As a sample of the level of sophistication of David and Thom’s lyrics and the quality of the St. Francis drama students, this is a clip from my raw footage shot at the run-through of a song performed by Camryn Elias.
I wish I had a CD soundtrack of the show, because I can’t get this song out of my head. The set up is that “Charlie” is singing out her frustration and confusion that God has abandoned them on this deserted island to fend for themselves. Pretty heavy material to be performed at a Catholic high school.
The stage is multi-tiered and a steel skeleton, which the St. Francis students welded themselves. The wall in the background changes colors throughout the show.
While Left was inspired by Lord of the Flies, I couldn’t help but see components of Apocalypse Now in it as well.