Cal presents ‘Baby with the Bathwater’


Photo by Shirin Afrakhteh

From left to right, play production students Kieran O’Connor and Hannah Chylinski, both seniors, and junior Jillian Weber rehearse “Baby with the Bathwater,” which opens Thursday night.

Cherry Tam, Staff Writer

Cal High’s award winning performance of “Baby with the Bathwater” will surely be “wacky”.

Wacky was the word that Laura Woods, the play’s director and Cal drama teacher, used the most when describing the play, which opens its two-night run on Thursday and Friday.

Both shows start at 7 p.m. in the theater. The show is rated PG-13. Tickets are $8.

The cast has described this play as  obscene, a  wild  ride, and insane.

“My vision for this play is honoring the playwright’s vision and making it along the lines of really wacky but truthful,” said Woods.

“Baby with the Bathwater,” a dark comedy written by Christopher Durang, features two parents who unintentionally create a difficult life for their child.

 The problematic parents, Helen and John, decide to raise a boy as a girl named Daisy and refuse to acknowledge his biological gender. 

Woods keeps her production set in the modern day but keeps family values from the 1950s and the 1960s era. Woods decided on this play because she’s a big fan of Durang. 

Last weekend, Woods took the cast of  “Baby with the Bathwater” to the Lenaea Festival, a  theatre competion with  67 other schools’ drama departments. The cast took home six awards, including bronze in the One-Act Play category for “Baby with the Bathwater.” 

The play production class has been working on this play since November. They have been practicing constantly in class and after school.

“The actors are strong and the crew is very talented,” Woods said of her cast of nine actors. 

The parents are played by junior Jillian Weber as Helen and senior Kieran O’Connor as John. Weber describes Helen as insane, unstoppable  and out of her mind. She said she prepared for this crazy role by screaming and saying normal phrases in ways that she usually wouldn’t.

Helen has quite a few sarcastic moments, which is clearly displayed in many of Weber’s favorite lines: “Did the bus run over the child? No. Did a bus run over her last week? No.” 

O’Connor describes his character, John, as someone who starts off as a sane man but eventually starts slowly devolving throughout the play. O’Connor’s favorite line is, “I need amphetamines.”

The character Daisy will be portrayed by senior Brennan Osborn, who says the audience should be able to relate to the teen angst felt by Daisy throughout the play.

“Daisy is the product of really [crummy] parents trying to get his life together,” said Osborn.

The roles of the nanny, Cynthia/Angela, Kate, the principal, Miss Pringle/Susan, and the voice will be played by seniors Hannah Chylinski, Emily Cardanini, Zoe Papadopoulos, River Moore, Paula Lazarova, and junior Kadi Calcagno.

The crew built the whole set on their own. The production’s “wackiness” also shines through the unique set design.

“The set is asymmetric and jagged where ordinary objects are done in such a way where everything seems off its axis.” said Osborn.

“The audience should definitely expect dark humor and to be shocked because there is a lot going on.” said Weber.

Ultimately, everyone should be prepared for lots of laughter and shock when they come see “Baby with the Bathwater.”