Dark Side of Dark of the Moon


Nate Giraud

Anabelle Rigg (11) and Sydney Young (10) act out a line from Dark of the Moon in the hallways surrounding their class. The story takes place in the Appalachian countryside where conflict between humans and witches ensues. Photo by Nate Giraud

Katie Brubaker, Editor of A&E (inside)

A story of young star-crossed lovers will be brought alive on the SJHHS main stage this fall. The Stallion Theatre Company will be performing Howard Richardson and William Berney’s mystical journey Dark of the Moon.

This riveting adventure takes the audience to a town in the Appalachian Mountains that is dictated by religion, gossip, and the looming presence of witches. Along with mythical beings and supernatural characters, the plotline contains some themes of a more mature nature.

Regarding the play and its darker aspects, Stallion Theatre Company director Cambria Beilstein is taking precautions to ensure that the production’s somewhat controversial content is appropriately dealt with. “The show is different for high school,” Beilstein said. “It pushes some boundaries on adult content and focuses on religion, and, in public schools, we always want to approach that carefully.”

 The story incorporates not only some more mature topics, but also addresses the Appalachian Christian religion in a not so favorable light. “We want to make it clear that we are not attempting to make any grand statements about religion, and that the religious branch in the production is very specific to the region of the U.S. that is being presented,” Beilstein said.

“Additionally, the play deals with sexuality, childbirth, and witchcraft- and although some of the more adult and/or violent content is only talked about, and not presented on stage- we are taking steps to make sure to not push things too far in our presentation,” added Beilstein.

Anna Moneymaker, the play’s Conjure Woman who is involved with witchcraft, spoke in support of Beilstein’s decision. “I don’t believe the controversial content should be completely removed, but I definitely do support her decision in taking away crosses just so it doesn’t seem like we are directly bashing religion, we are just telling a story,” Moneymaker said. “It’s obviously fictitious; it has witches in it.”

Aside from the controversial content, the intrigue of the play itself has students involved excited. “I think it’s a very cool play. There are a lot of shows about the witch trials and scenarios where there aren’t actually any witches, just religious hysteria. But in this play, there really are witches and it shows how they view religion. It’s a whole new take on this kind of narrative.” explains Moneymaker.

In spite of the dark messages ingrained in the play, it seems that even some of the most wicked of tales have the capability of expressing concepts of light and affection. The romance between the two Romeo and Juliet fated lovers, Jon and Barbara, creates a relief from the hectic town the play is set in.

Kaily Johnson, who plays the female lead role of Barbara Allen, finds a lighter aspect of the otherwise dark play. “They love each other because they need each other, but as the play progresses you watch them actually start loving each other, and I think that is very sweet because it is a very dark show of course, but it has very nice moments that are precious,” said Johnson.