The Theatre Arts students participated in the Manhattan Theatre Club Core Education program of the Broadway Production of The Nap. Part of this program, our students participated in workshops with Manhattan Theatre Club resident artist, actress and playwright Nilaja Sun, in order to prepare and discuss the play. During the workshops they acted, read, improvised and wrote their own scenes inspired by Richard Beans’s new play.
Written by the author of the rollicking, award-winning Broadway comedy One Man, Two Guvnors, The Nap is a very funny look at the world of snooker – the British version of pool. Dylan Spokes, a fast-rising young star arrives for a championship tournament only to be confronted by the authorities warning him of the repercussions of match fixing. Before he knows it, Dylan is forced into underhanded dealings with a cast of wildly colorful characters that include his ex-convict dad, saucy mum, quick-tongued manager and a renowned gangster, to boot. It’s a fast-paced comedy thriller where, in an exciting twist, the tournament unfolds live on stage. This New York Times Critics’ Pick is “easily the funniest play on Broadway” according to the New York Stage Review. Directed by Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan.
Our students thoroughly enjoyed the play, some considered it “the best play ever”, others found it “hysterical and riveting,” but all were enthralled in particular by both Alexandra Billings’s and Ben Schnetzer’s performances. Ben played the role of Dylan, the one pure character in this corrupt world, while Alexandra plays a transgender woman who has masterminded the entire criminal operation.
All the characters really take the audience on a roller-coaster journey, bringing us from incredible laughter to suspense, to romance and back to reality. More importantly, we are invited to reflect on our need as people to stay true to our values despite the challenges around us.
Overall, this has been a very enriching experience and we are looking forward to more collaboration with the Manhattan Theatre Club in the near future, says Raluca Shields, the Theatre Arts teacher at Country Prep.