1984: A New Kind of Performance

“I do not believe that the kind of society I describe necessarily will arrive, but I believe that something resembling it could arrive,” – George Orwell, author of 1984


Isabel Wiesner, Staff Writer


The performance schedule for 1984 has changed due to the weather.  Here are the new performance dates and times:

Friday, Feb. 1: 7:00

Saturday, Feb. 2: 1:00, 7:00

All performances are in the David Miller Theater.  Tickets are available online here.  They are $12 for adults, and $6 for students or senior citizens buying ahead of time, $15 for adults and $9 for students or seniors at the door.  Students with an activity pass will not be charged for the show.


So far this school year, LFHS Theatre has taken to the stage in productions of The Patsy and Our Town, both of which followed light-hearted storylines and featured lively and expressive characters. But as February draws nearer, audiences can expect to experience a new kind of performance with 1984.

The play is adapted from George Orwell’s 1949 novel of the same name, but decades later the subject matter is still eerily relevant. For the show’s director, Joe Pulio, this has been a key component in his selection of 1984 as this year’s winter play.

“The play is focusing on how hate can destroy, and there’s so much hate going on right now– and division– for me it kind of speaks for itself in terms of not allowing a society to exist that becomes based on those concepts,” said Mr. Pulio.

However, Mr. Pulio emphasizes that his intention in directing 1984 hasn’t been to convince or influence the audience, but rather to inspire them to think and spark new conversations. Theatre director Joseph Aquino is also hoping to impact the audience in this way.

I’m hoping people walk out of the theater with lots of questions for the real world. I never want to actively change someone’s mind, but rather show challenging situations that create discussions,” Aquino said.

In order to inspire this type of thinking, the play involves heavy themes and intense scenes which require the actors to bring a new level of emotion to their performances. In fact, Mr. Pulio noted that 1984 could even be a step-up from last year’s play The Amish Project, which dealt with the harrowing experience of a school shooting and its aftermath.

“This year I picked plays that were more challenging than normal because the kids we have to act have really good skills and can handle that. It’s a challenge for them but I think they have the base for it,” said Mr. Pulio.

One of the most demanding roles in the play is the innocent, carefree, and confident role of Julia, who is played by sophomore Kailey Albus. Julia is a character that feels emotion in an oppressive world, and Albus says that the most challenging and fun part of developing her role has been getting to act alongside senior Bryan Kingsley, who plays Winston Smith.

“A lot of this show for me was working alone with him, which really helped me to get to know him more as both an actor and a person. All it takes is a trusting scene partner to really bring out the best in someone, and working with Bryan has made me become more confident and sure of my abilities,” she said.

Senior Nikole Tzioufas plays the important and omnipresent role of the Loudspeaker in the show, and describes the show as being “mentally exhausting.”

“1984 is bold, different and engaging for the all audiences. This show allows the audience to empathize in a very intuitive manner which I find very interesting. The audience should feel physically and emotionally uncomfortable after watching various characters get physically and mentally tortured in front of their eyes. This is certainly no ordinary high school show.”