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, 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, performed at the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting House.
The evening will feature 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 combines a libretto authored by Barry Morley, with music arranged and composed by Bryan Seith. The evening will also include original chamber music by Bryan Seith, who has been inspiring student musicians here at SSFS since 1980.
Performance Dates & Location
Thursday, February 28, Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2 at 7:15 pm
All Performances will be off-campus at the Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting House
Rehearsals will be held weekends in December, January, and February. You only have to come to rehearsal if a scene that you are in is being rehearsed that day. There will be evening rehearsals every night the week before the performance dates. The cast list will be published on the community play website within about a week of the auditions. Meanwhile, please don't hesitate to contact Julie Borsetti with any questions!
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. We are hoping to schedule play performances inside the Sandy Spring Meeting House!
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!