Cappies Review of Fairfax High School's Production of Good Afternoon, Angel
Fairfax County Public Schools students are talented actors, musicians, and visual artists. Many FCPS high schools participate in the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Critics and Awards Program for High School Theatre, otherwise known as the Cappies.
The Cappies is a program through which high school theater and journalism students are trained as critics, attend shows at other schools, write reviews, and publish those reviews in local newspapers. There are fifteen Cappies chapters across the United States and Canada.
The Cappies continues this year with virtual performances. Students learning through the theatre arts is as important as ever. Most performances this year are written by students and are available to watch on the Cappies website. Some performances do require a fee to view online.
Editor's Note: This review of Fairfax High School's virtual production of Good Afternoon, Angel is written by Emilia Ermanoski of McLean High School. You can watch Good Afternoon, Angel at the link below.
What would you do if you relived the same day every single day? The déjà vu in Fairfax High School's Good Afternoon, Angel brings to life a bittersweet story of love, fate, and the discovery of truth: all through a FaceTime call.
Written, directed, and edited by student Tori Miller, the play follows Avabelle and Gabe, a young couple who FaceTime each other before their date later that day. After waking up to the call and speaking with her boyfriend, life seemed normal to Avabelle. Yet, once they hung up, she suddenly found herself awakening to Gabe's call, at the same time, on the same day, again and again. Desperate to stop this seemingly never-ending cycle, Avabelle tries to find out how to move on. Originally made as a short story, Miller brought "Good Afternoon, Angel" to our screens through two outstanding actors and a remarkably detailed script.
With a cast of two, Madeleine Tyler and Spencer Kury created a brilliant dynamic duo. Tyler and Kury masterfully depicted everyday teens through their detailed characteristics, whether it was by holding a teddy bear or by not knowing the scout's honor hand signal. With Tyler's facial expressions and Kury's charming banter and mannerisms, Good Afternoon, Angel had personalities that shined, presenting a charming tone that brought the play to life.
The play's runtime of 22 minutes represents months of scriptwriting and rewriting and two months of rehearsing and recording. Tori Miller's perseverance paid off, with the result being an incredibly well-written play. Miller based Avabelle and Gabe off their actors, a decision that resulted in unique, well-rounded characters. Miller's writing skills were able to capture and maintain the focus on the characters through delightful, witty dialogue and a captivating storyline. At the same time, her script was riddled with deeper meanings and symbolism, skillfully developing her characters beyond surface-level emotions and conversation through her thought-provoking writing. Whether it was the characters' clothes or the background of the setting, Miller ensured that foreshadowing and symbolism were always communicated.
Perhaps the most powerful decision from Miller was through the way the script was revealed to the actors. Kury was given the whole script, while Tyler did not learn the end of the play until the last recording day. This technique gave the actors a distinctive reaction to the powerful ending to a touching story.
With a FaceTime call being the gateway between Avabelle and Gabe, Good Afternoon, Angel wouldn't have been possible without Tori Miller's editing. Miller adds yet another item under her list of skills as she expertly pieced the show together. Her use of formatting style placed each actors' screen side by side and the addition of FaceTime graphics at the beginning of each call added a modern touch to the story. Along with details such as the heart emojis next to Gabe's name and the familiar ring of a FaceTime call, her excellent choices enhanced the context of the play. Together with Miller's editing and graphics, the audience is both greeted and departed by student Sofia Mesa-Morales' creative cover art for Good Afternoon, Angel, a beautiful artwork that encapsulates the entirety of the play.
So, what would you do if you were stuck on a day that couldn't move on? Good Afternoon, Angel shows us that as much as we never want to let go of a time when everything was perfect, some things stay temporary, while love will last forever.