‘Will You Take This Rose?’: the reality behind reality TV

Frankie Dogramaci, Contributing Writer

When we watch shows like The Bachelor we never fully understand what goes on behind the scenes. Everett Kagan’s ‘19 One Act Play “Will You Accept This Rose” dives into concepts such as authenticity while still being a lighthearted satire of the reality TV show.
The play takes you behind the scenes of the reality TV show, and makes you feel like you are watching the show being filmed. It focuses on a contestant, Brook Santino, played by Amelia Feiner (12), who is only on the show for fame. Later on, she comes to realize how corrupt she has become and decides that she wants to find real love and a real connection.
The funny side of the play provided a good contrast to other shows in the festival that are much more serious, Jordan Ferdman (11), an actor in the show who plays one of the crew members said.
“it’s not just a humorous adaptation, because it has some meaningful things packed into the lines.” Theatre teacher Halia VanHentenryck said, The way that the play is able to touch upon important issues and still be a funny and playful show is what makes it so unique, She said.
The protagonist of the show, Brooke Santino, goes on the Bachelor for all the wrong reasons, fame and fortune. Towards the end of the play she realizes that being ingenuine and fake isn’t worth the fame. The student assistant director Henry Owens (11) said,
“Everyone has stereotypes about the show and we’ve discovered a lot in researching,” VanHentenryck said, “we have discovered what it’s actually like to be filmed on the show.” The cast has found a lot of information on how isolated everyone is on the show and how controlled their actions are. These discoveries have helped them better understand what really goes on behind the scenes, she said.
After fully understanding just how manipulated all the girls are on the show it truly changed my perspective, Feiner said.
When you are watching The Bachelor it is portrayed as a reality TV show but what you are seeing isn’t reality. You don’t see all the cameramen and crew behind the scenes, with “Will You Accept This Rose” you get to see that aspect of it. Owens said. Hopefully after seeing this play people will begin to think about the show differently and see just how manipulated the contestants are, he said.
One of the most interesting concepts in the play is at the very end, when it breaks the fourth wall VanHentenryck said. “This concept goes off when we are performing and how we perform for others” she said. The actor playing Chris Harrison, the host of the show, goes to sit with the audience and he has a monologue that talks about the themes of authenticity in the play,Owens said.
Although VanHentenryck is the director of the play, the cast and the student director were able to come together and have input in the show. “In the beginning I led rehearsals and took the lead, started things and got them going, and then I set them free” VanHentenryck said.
Since a lot of actors have been getting sick, everyone in the cast is always ready to step up and read their lines and be there for them, Ferdman said. Actors from different plays are always willing to help, Owens said. The students involved with the play are constantly stepping up and doing whatever necessary to make everything run smoothly. Ferdman said.
It was an amazing bonding experience, and being a freshmen it was great to be able to work alongside the upperclassmen and get to know them better, Bailey Hect (9) said. Hect participated in stage crew, building the set and was in the cast. Being able to see all the different parts of the play come together was amazing, she said.
Being able to see all the lights, choreography and set come together and all of the separate parts of the play have created something beautiful is what makes it all worth it Van Hentenryck said.