Theatre brings fantasy world to life in One Act Play “Bandersnatch”


Avani Kashyap

Coppell High School senior Drew Scrivner who plays Lief in CHS Theatre’s One Act Play “Bandersnatch” holds a sword to CHS junior Matthew O’Quinn, who plays Lief’s grandfather Grehner. “Bandersnatch” is based off Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky” and was performed. yesterday night in the CHS Auditorium.

Avani Kashyap, Staff Writer

As the audience filled in to the auditorium for Coppell High School Theatre’s “Bandersnatch” last night, they were greeted to an empty stage with a heap of props placed in the middle. 

Within seven minutes, it had transformed into a fantasy land.

The One Act Play is based off Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky” and brings to life the magical underworld of the Jabberwock. The play was suggested by CHS9 theatre director Lauren Holt who had worked on it in college and wanted to bring the experience to CHS students.

“We liked it because of the fantasy element, the puppetry and all the movement and big camera work,” CHS theatre director Karen Ruth said. “Students came up with so many creative ideas and had so much to do with building this show. It was an enormously collaborative effort for all of us, and I watched them take charge of their characters and bring them to life on stage.”

The gripping plot follows a series of murders committed by the evil Bandersnatch, and the town comes to question whether innocent motives can warrant unethical actions. The CHS theatre cast portrayed such profound themes through comedic expression, eliciting as many gasps as laughs from the attentive audience.

Performed in preparation for their University Interscholastic League (UIL) One-Act Play performance today at 6:30 p.m. at the Jack E. Singley Academy in Irving, the cast had to adhere to specific rules such as setting up the set within seven minutes. Although it was difficult, amidst enthusiastic encouragement from the audience, the set up was a success.

“Learning all the rules for UIL was challenging, but I really enjoyed it,” said CHS junior Matthew O’Quinn, who plays Grehner, Lief’s grandfather in the show. “With all the stuff we had, it was almost impossible to get everything put together, so I’m really proud of everyone on the team who was able to get that done. We had to create this fantastical world out of thin air and we did that pretty well.

Before the play, the cast walked onto the stage and honored teachers they had chosen to invite to the performance. Each cast member selected one teacher to appreciate and handed them a bouquet of flowers on stage. 

Throughout the play, unique storytelling elements such as shadow theatre and puppetry were used to convey the history of the Bandersnatch. The combination of such elements allowed students to portray the story through various methods and learn new skills along the way.

“I like that [theatre] allows for students to express a variety of stories and emotions,” Maureen Overbeck, townsperson Nicole Kolkemeir’s mother said. “Theatre has helped [Kolkemeir] become more confident in her speaking abilities and it’s an opportunity to come together to tell a story.”

Once the show concluded, the cast received news that it had completed the performance under the 40 minute time allotted by UIL. The jubilant reactions revealed insight into the amount of effort that had gone into performing the play.

“ [Theatre] brings a lot of people together and they all put on something that’s really incredible,” CHS junior Kaitlyn Shilling, the step sister of Sophia Priest who plays the Jub Jub bird, said. “It’s made [Priest] a much more social person, and she’s found a really good community within theatre.”