Courtesy of SDA Theater Facebook page
Yellow Boat: An Emotional Journey
March 7, 2018
Every year SDA puts on a Theater for a Cause production in which all proceeds go to an important organization. This year’s play, “The Yellow Boat” by David Saar, tells the emotional true story of the playwright’s son Benjamin (played by junior Caeden Schlosser), a boy who was born with congenital hemophilia and later contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion.
His world is then narrowed to a hospital room, his house and his own imagination, and as a gifted visual artist, Benjamin’s creative imagination transforms his physical and emotional pain into a mix of colors, shapes, and stories depicted in his drawings and paintings. Along with the help of a specialist (junior Gage Tanzman) and a chorus of characters (senior Keaton Boddicker, senior Rachel Kaplan, senior Madison Noyes and junior Colin Gasperoni), Benjamin creates a beautiful world around him and his parents (senior Riley Switzler and sophomore Clara Conkling). He creates this world to help them escape the harsh complications that come with his disease and embarks on a journey in which he learns about life and how to cope with the situation.
All proceeds will go to Conner’s Cause for Children, an organization with the mission of relieving some of the difficulties that come with caring for a child that has a serious illness or injury. The organization helps families by providing financial aid to those in need, so that no child goes without proper medical treatments due to a lack of money.
Director and drama teacher Stephanie Siers gave some insight on the cause. “Conner’s Cause for Children began in Encinitas in 1994 when concerned friends and neighbors of the family of four-year-old Conner Camp put their collective heads together to find ways to provide financial support to this devastated family during Conner’s year-long losing battle with brain cancer,” she said.
“In over two decades since his passing, Conner’s Cause for Children has honored the legacy of this brave little boy by helping thousands of other families like his deal with the unimaginable emotional and financial burden of caring for a critically ill child,” Siers said.
It’s fitting that the money is going to CCC because of the organization’s commitment to helping families of children with serious illnesses, just like Benjamin’s family in the play. They provide financial help for those in need during situations like this.
Schlosser talked about the process of portraying such an important role in this emotional play. “For me personally, I’ve tried to imagine myself as if I were a child hearing these life altering news [about being sick] for the first time. To be honest, sometimes forgetting exactly my next line [word for word] and blocking for the next parts of the scene helps me react naturally,” Schlosser said. “I have a lot of freedom to explore the emotional journey of this character through my character’s drawings throughout the play.”
The world built for this show revolves around Saar’s imagination, so the set’s minimalist approach provides the spectator with a task of following along the main characters on this colorful journey. Props Master senior Keely Fuller revealed a little bit about the backstage work the crew has been doing: “The show is very abstract so we tried to build it around that idea, which turned out to be very minimalist. It’s really amazing that we were able to do that, and that such a small and minimal set is able to tell such a big story.”
The after school show will show on March 15-17 at 7:00 pm in the San Dieguito Academy Clayton E. Liggett theater. Tickets cost $8 dollars for students and $15 for adults, and can be bought online through www.seatyourself.biz/sandieguito or during lunch in front of the theater.