“4 A.M.” On Stage in Chevy Chase January 25

play18 [1600x1200]What do high school kids think about at 4 o’clock in the morning? Jogging. The opposite sex. Homework. Death. Why the carbon-steel knives the ads promised would never need sharpening went dull after slicing only a few tomatoes. The opposite sex.

It’s all laid out in a comedy called “4 A.M.” that will be presented at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School on Friday, January 25. Fortunately, the curtain rises not at the eponymous wee hour, but  at 7:30 p.m.

play8 [1600x1200]The play is the product of one of B-CC’s hallmark programs, the Middle Year Project. Sophomores have the option of doing the project, which generally includes a long research effort and a detailed presentation. The project helps prepare them for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses that the school offers primarily to juniors and seniors. The organizational and time-management skills a successful project requires are indispensable for success in those rigorous courses.

Sophomore Olivia “Chewey” Delaplaine decided that for her Middle Year Project she would produce and direct a play. She chose “4 A.M.,” which was written by Jonathan Dorf with presentation by teen-agers in mind. That’s Chewey (a nickname she got at the age of three, when she liked to gnaw on the sleeves of her shirts) in the picture at the top of this post. In contrast to the traditional high school play, in which a faculty member acts as director, Chewy runs this show, which includes Leo Kelly, above left, as a radio DJ..

play12 [1600x1200]She recruited the cast and crew, pictured lower right, and supervised their rehearsals. Chewey can be a taskmaster. “I don’t believe you,” she said at rehearsal Wednesday when an character’s confession that she didn’t love her boyfriend failed to convey the emotion she’d envisioned. The actors did the scene over and the director was satisfied.

“Can we get a follow spot?” she asked at one point. “Oh, yes, I like that,” she said when the student lighting director produced a green spotlight for a number about the dancers who haunt the dreams of an anxious student at 4 in the morning.

General admission tickets for 4 A.M. are $5 and will be on sale at the door.

Photos © Bob Cullen