‘Pillow Talk’ to whisper sweet, 1950’s nothings
March 19, 2013
By Peter Clark
Issaquah High School wants to take an audience back to a simpler time of rotary phones, party lines and post-war charm.
For its spring performance, the drama department will put on the play “Pillow Talk” beginning March 27. A romantic comedy set in the 1950s, it is perhaps most known from the 1959 movie starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day.
It follows the crossed lines and crossed lives of Brad the carousing playboy and Jan the interior decorator as he weaves a double life of deception to capture her affections. After initially sparring over Brad’s constant use of the building’s shared party line, when he spies Jan dancing at a nearby club, he invents a Texan persona to win her over.
“The thing that’s fun about the play is that it’s the technology that drives the story,” said Holly Whiting, drama director for the school. “With rotary phones and party lines, it’s a lost era. In 10 more years, this play is going to be obsolete.”
She remembered seeing the movie as a young girl and it had always stuck with her. She said she appreciated the light nature of the drama and believed that it worked really well with high school players.
“It’s a really cute, sweet story,” she said. “It’s simple but engaging.”
The students, who began rehearsal in the middle of February, worked hard to craft a good play. They continue to rehearse every day after school, excluding weekends, Whiting said.
The most difficult part of the production actually involved finding props.
“The most challenging piece is finding enough rotary phones,” she said.
The young actors treading the boards have experience on the high school stage as well as the children’s stage at Village Theatre. Learning the roles has proven enjoyable for them, though they respond quizzically to the 1950’s culture outlined in the play.
“It’s a little strange being in character and having to objectify women,” senior Andrew Marsh said about playing the lead role of Brad. “As I get to know him, he’s a horrible person, more like an anti-hero.”
Though, the cast did make it clear that he develops good intentions by the end.
“It’s hard for me because my character lets people take advantage of her,” junior Kylie Fletcher said of the role of Jan. After playing many stronger women during her time in the theater, the adjustment was difficult. “All the other roles I’ve played have been independent women and it is a culture change.”
Senior Ali Campbell said she felt the most comfortable of the cast, playing Jan’s honest and comedic housekeeper Alma.
“I’m like the mother figure, and more relatable to women now,” she said. “It’s been cool because she’s balanced and she knows her place. I’ve typically always played the mother figure and it’s been fun because this one’s more tame.”
Four-time stage manager senior Birte Fichter found a number of challenges to tackle behind the scenes. Different cues, from sound to projections, posed issues that she enjoyed solving. Overall, however, she saw a larger job in the production.
“Keep everybody humble, that’s my job,” she said.
If you go
- Nightly at 7 p.m.,
- Issaquah High School
- 700 Second Ave. S.E.
- Purchase tickets by