O.A.S.I.S. - a 2023 Metro Production
Inside the Hive
By Sara Adams
The new year is a time to reconsider life’s fundamental questions: Is it the journey or the destination? What is the value of humanity? What would happen if a global-warming reversal technology malfunctioned?!
Metro’s 2023 play, “OASIS,” addresses all of these questions and more. The playwrights, who crafted the script from scratch from September to December, were inspired by environmental justice and wanted the play to be exciting and adventurous this year. Starting in early January, the whole Metro community has been working for a couple of hours per day on all elements of the production.
At the beginning of the month, we bring down the “play bins,” containing a wide variety of strange objects that have been collected over Metro’s many years of productions. It is like an explosion of potential and also nostalgia, prompting memories of plays that students vaguely remember seeing as 5th graders, and making them wonder why on earth we have a blue vest with tea bags glued onto it. (I’ve been a Guide here for 8 years and I also have no idea.) For the entire month of January, props are everywhere: a rotary phone, a single shoe, a dried gourd. You could easily see someone wearing a prison jumpsuit with a lace shawl over it for the entirety of the afternoon, whether or not they’re an actor.
Throughout the weeks of play work, each student (and Guide) at Metro studies their own copy of the script, looking for their own details. Actors and the costume crew consider the major and subtler personality points of each character. The FX team considers which light changes and sound effects will best clarify and enhance the moods. The set and prop teams read with fingers crossed that the next page won’t include anything huge or challenging, like an airplane or a safe that actually opens. (Spoiler alert: “OASIS” contains both.)
Every piece of the puzzle is integral. Every single student explores, invents, and compromises. There’s laughing, arguing, sometimes crying. Paint spills, lines are improvised, Student leadership flourishes. Challenges are overcome. They work together to put on a play that has never been done before, creating life-long memories and inside jokes.
We can’t wait to see what the students have in store for us next year!
"This decade was the first that I read Zen in the Art of Archery, from 1948. My time this Saturday began with the book, where the German professor goes to Japan in the 1920s to teach and picks up archery, and comes away with a deeper understanding of philosophy, spirituality, the universe, and himself. But my Saturday did not begin with archery, rather, with another activity in Japan, only casually mentioned once or twice in the book, where the author referenced his wife's passionate undertaking: flower arranging."