Lunch time!

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Lunch time!

Erin Dean, Editor-in-Chief

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GM’s Northrip authors and directs spring play


A photo of three of the main characters in the Mason spring play, "Lunch"

From left to right: Sarah Edwards, Tea Abbracciamento, and Shanley Kirk, who play the popular girls in the play, rehearse one of their scenes together. (Photo courtesy of Carol Sly)

“Middle school is hard,” said theater teacher and director of this year’s play, Lunch!, Mr. Shawn Northrip.

Unlike plays in George Mason’s past, Lunch! has a special tie to the GM community. Besides its relatability to every student’s middle school lunch experience, the playwright is Mason’s own Shawn Northrip.

“It has been really cool to hear some of the stories behind the characters that he has created for the world of Lunch and how it all came together,” stage manager Annie Parnell said.

Lunch, an original play written by Northrip, was created way back in 2004. Northrip’s inspiration for this play came from four main factors: the band Lemonface, Degrassi, the Next Generation, his love for Eric Bogosian’s writing, and Northrip’s own personal experience.

A photo of the band playing in "Lunch"

Senior Austin Yoder (center), Mophead in the play, performs during rehearsals. (Photo courtesy of Carol Sly)

So why hasn’t Lunch been produced by George Mason before? Well, in 2004, it wasn’t actually a whole play at all — it was a project for a festival held by a now defunct theater company, and only 10 minutes long.

I thought, if I was going to do the show with anyone it would be the class of 2017. They started with me and have been with me for 5 years. Besides, I had the perfect talent pool,” Northrip said.

This play, or “play with songs” as Northrip describes it, places you, the audience, in a middle school lunch period with screaming adolescents that are just beginning to find themselves. There are the popular girls, the nerds, and all the ones in between. Each vignette, or short episode of the play, consists of different characters expressing their personality through childish actions.

“I think it would leave the audience reflecting on their middle school experience and how it relates to their life,” said sophomore, Miles Jackson who plays John, a quirky character in the play.

This might be the first time GM will get to see Lunch, but this play has actually been produced in a variety of places all around the world including a theater in New Zealand and at the New York New Musical Festival.

Lunch is showing in the George Mason auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, so make sure to come out and support the production.

But, Lunch is not just a “play with songs,” it’s a play with songs and a whole lot of personality.