2019 Community Play
This year’s debut performance of Barry Morley and Bryan Seith’s Seed Corn, a resurrected one-act play by Barry with original music composed by Bryan, was a tribute to Barry and Bryan and the legacy of community at Sandy Spring Friends School. The performance, which took place February 28-March 2, was performed at the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting House.
The evening featured three components: a one-act play, a one-act opera, and original chamber music composed by Bryan Seith. The one-act play was written by Barry Morley and originally performed during the early years of the Ninth Grade Program, which was established by Barry and Anne Morley in 1973. The feature performance of the evening is the debut of an original musical work titled Seed Corn. This one-act opera combined a libretto authored by Barry Morley, with music arranged and composed by Bryan Seith. The evening also included original chamber music by Bryan Seith, who has been inspiring student musicians here at SSFS since 1980.
Act One: Breakfast Beforehand
A comedic murder mystery with a twist!
ACT ONE CAST:
Henry Woodbine: Xander E., 11th Grade
Gerald Woodbine: Jim C., SSFS Parent
Hortense Woodbine: Mariana G., SSFS Parent
Guenevere Woodbine: Natalie N., 10th Grade
Margaret Woodbine: Meghan R., 10th Grade
Blake Catchall: George M., 12th Grade
Lt. Thurston: Moira M., 10th Grade
Jack: Gus R., 9th Grade
Flashcube McReady: AJ Stewart, SSFS Alumnus
Morgan T. Morganheimer: Irene Denniston, 10th Grade
Cory T. Otzenberger: Yili Bai, 9th Grade
Alison T. Regenpfeiffer: Skyler (Shuniu) L., 9th Grade
Harp: Mariana G., SSFS Parent
Bassoon: Linda G., SSFS Teacher
Singers: Seed Corn Cast
Act Two: Seed Corn
Seed Corn was originally conceived by Barry Morley with the intention of being performed by the Victorian Lyric Opera of Rockville, MD, in the 1980s. The work was never fully completed, however, and Seed Corn remained on the shelf unfinished until recently, when the music and orchestration were finalized in anticipation of this year’s debut as the 2019 Community Play.
Seed Corn is a one-act chamber opera scored for 12 soloists, a full chorus, and accompaniment comprised of a string quartet, clarinet, and piano. With a performance duration estimated to be about 45 minutes, this comedy revolves around a local Quaker Meeting community in the 1980s, whose members are being filmed in their meeting house to create a documentary for an outside film crew.
ACT TWO CAST
Ethan: Andy G., 12th Grade
Amy: Ruby B., 12th Grade
Laura: Roya Bauman, SSFS Parent
Burke: Terran Garrettson, SSFS Alumnus
Walter: Brian Brubaker, SSFS Teacher
Rex Riley: Michael Dehart, SSFS Alumnus
Nancy Williams: Heidi Feig, SSFS Parent
Chris DeWilde: Micha Harris, SSFS Parent
Louise Woodstock: Anne Pulju, SSFS Teacher
Thomas Taylor: Tom Harrison, SSFS Teacher
Whitney Thompson: Angela Colegrove, SSFS Teacher
Gordon: Ted McAdams, SSFS Teacher
About Barry Morley and Bryan Seith
Barry Morley was an important presence and influence at Sandy Spring Friends School. He was one of the original teachers when the school opened in the 1961, teaching at Sandy Spring until 1984, and also serving as camp director at Catoctin Quaker Camp. Barry was a popular history teacher at SSFS, and is credited with creating and directing the school chorus and annual Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, a beloved tradition at SSFS for many years. The Morley Games that are still played at Sandy Spring to this day (Frazleerham, Brindledorf, Nurdleyball, etc.) were conceived and organized for Sandy Spring Friends by the Morleys in the early years of the school. Barry Morley and his wife, Anne, started the 9th Grade Program at SSFS in 1973. As part of that program, Barry began writing annual one-act plays for annual performances by the freshmen class.
While a teacher at Sandy Spring, Barry also wrote several musical texts that were produced by both students and local community groups in the area. Collaborating with music teacher Bryan Seith, several operettas were produced over the years with real success, including The King’s Gift, The Hunter, and Top of the Mountain.
Bryan Seith has been teaching music at SSFS since 1980. His love of music continues to inspire and enrich the lives of countless students. An accomplished composer, Bryan has created beautiful instrumental and choral pieces, as well as arrangements for handbell choirs and chimes. While many of his compositions have been written for the students in his courses, he has also arranged a myriad of works for community programs such as the Victorian Lyric Opera, the Friends House Chorus, Monteverde Friends School, the SSFS Community Play, Rockville Youth Orchestra and Rockville Chorus.
This year’s debut performance of Barry Morley and Bryan Seith’s Seed Corn, a resurrected one act-play by Barry with original music composed by Bryan, will be featured components of what is planned to be a tribute to Barry and Bryan and the legacy of community at Sandy Spring Friends School. Look for more details to come!