March 18, 2023

The Cappies is a writing and awards program that trains high school theatre and journalism students to be expert writers, critical thinkers, and leaders. Student critics vie to be published in local media outlets by attending productions at other schools and writing critical reviews.

By Marin Chamberlin of Oak Park High School

Are you ready for an intergalactic sensation? You’ll want to phone home about the out-of-this-world rendition of “Abigail, For Now,” presented by the ethereal talent of Lee’s Summit North High School. Written by playwright Jackie Martin, and released in 2021, “Abigail, For Now” details the story of an adolescent girl who believes that she may not be a girl at all. After a concerning series of events, Abigail is checked into a psychiatric hospital, where she learns and realizes more about the human experience than she ever has before.

Lee’s Summit North High School’s rendition of “Abigail, For Now” is universally touching and heartfelt, and the chemistry and passion of those onstage is palpable. Standout individuals include Jane Hough, as Abigail, whose detached candor and impressive characterization is deliciously jarring and engaging to audiences. The emotional revolution of Abigail, and the outside look into the human psyche is safe in the hands of Hough. Liam Love, as Austin, also shows a performance with intimate depth that expands onstage, tragically hopeful and moving in his delivery.

Other stellar performances include Laija James, as Naomi, and Delilah Pellow, as Jen, whose chemistry and closeness is deeply felt, and whose delivery is deliciously bold at times, and revolutionarily relatable and intimate at others. Hannah Yohe, as Ronnie, and Jameson Love, as Jay, are extraordinarily moving with their delivery and dimension as performers, as they showcase the fragility of human hope and the steadfast nature of parental love in their attention to detail and consistently impressive execution.

Remarkable technology elements also contribute to the overall cohesive and stirring performance of “Abigail, For Now.” Impressive light design by Elizabeth Ravasini and Kinsley Ward transports audiences, setting the mood and adding to the ambiance, and mimicking literal and emotional eclipses alike. Some difficulties with microphones and sound can be heard at times, but all actors and crew courageously manage potential difficulties quickly and successfully. Transitions facilitated by stage managers Will Laffoon and Helen Rivera, as well as the cast and crew as a whole, are seamless and tidy, not distracting from the continuous flow of the performance.

The performance of “Abigail, For Now” presented by Lee’s Summit North High School is a raw and intimate portrayal of the human experience, creating an unique opportunity for audience to be outsiders witnessing the tragically relatable and beautifully fragile human existence from afar. This performance discovers new frontiers in the quest to celebrate belonging and loneliness as equal counterparts, and the depth with which Lee’s Summit North High School portrays such a journey is unmatched. For now and for forever, this production shines brightly as an intergalactic sensation felt across worlds.