It is the final moments before the final showing of Westwood High School’s 2016 production of Macbeth. The cast and crew gather in a circle, surrounding a trash can, with a bucket of flowers sitting atop it. One by one, people rattle off speeches, through choked back tears and rapid breathing, praising their cast-mates, and expressing how much they appreciate them. Once the speeches are finished, the cast reapplies their tear-stained makeup and gets ready to perform the show they’ve spent the past few weeks of their lives perfecting for the last time.
Standing at the epicenter of this play was Brett Iarrobino, as the leading man, the play’s namesake, Macbeth. On March 16 and 18, he will take the stage again in this year’s WHS musical, Once on this Island, as Papa Ge. Iarrobino has been in theater since he was five years old and has stuck with it due largely in part to the community that the WHS and Thurston Middle School theater programs fostered.
Jim Howard, Director of Macbeth and Once on this Island, has been responsible in the program’s success. Iarrobino said that the program has really taught him a lot of great skills in handling responsibility, largely due to Mr. Howard’s guidance. He said, “At first I was really afraid of him, but there really isn’t anything to be afraid of, he just has high expectations, and over the years I’ve gotten better at meeting them.” Through the program, Iarrobino has learned how to better handle responsibility, and he said he will take many of his experiences to college.
Once on this Island will be performed on March 16th and 18th. Starring junior Erin Fitzgerald, sophomore Mike Lahiff and many other WHS students, Once on this Island tells the story of of Ti Moone, a peasant girl living in Haiti. The play explores the stories and gods of Haitian Voodou and the nature of classism in our society.