On the 10th and 11th of December, the auditorium opened its doors for the fall play, Have You Heard of King’s Academy?, written and performed by our very own King’s students, under the direction of Mr. Jimmy Morgan. The audience members must have left that night with sore abs and teary eyes, as it was a play that had you laughing at every other line.
The play revolves around Maya, played by Maya Abdul-qader ’17, and her struggles in finding and achieving her dream: to study music and theatre. However, her father, played by Talib Kateeb ’15, expects to call her ‘Doctor Maya Abdul-qader’ one day, and thus demands that she keep strict attention to her studies, so that she may grow to be “just like her 18 brothers”—don’t worry, Maya, I know the feeling! As she settles into King’s, Maya begins to deviate from her father’s plans, primarily through her participation in open mic night. Despite her father’s displeasure, she gives an incredible performance, talented enough to bring him to his senses and allow her to follow her dream.
Written in a comedic style reminiscent of Monty Python, the play consists of hilariously exaggerated characters and ridiculous situations, from the debate in the first scene over whose life was hardest—with some living in shoeboxes, waking up half an hour before going to sleep, and even being killed every day—to the overly-peppy faculty member (Noor Alasker ’16) welcoming Maya to King’s Academy. Yet behind all the ridiculousness of it, there lies an element of truth. As Mr. Jimmy said before the performance, it was a “more of a reflection piece,” based on the writers’ perception of their lives here at King’s. In the classroom scenes, we have the whole spectrum of the kinds of students you might have in a typical classroom: the loud and rowdy (played by Amin Janjua ’16 and Ahmad Freihat ’16, respectively), the all-about-love-of-learning (one of several roles by Hashim Khalayleh ’18), the know-it-all (Abigail Smith ’17), and so on. What may be seen as simple, one-dimensional characters in some plays are purposefully created here as a form of satire. The play also recognizes many of the struggles students may go through, whether it’s pressure from friends and family, our struggle to realize our passions, or simply the everyday ups and downs of school life.
Through all the jokes and funny characters, the theater group is sending a very powerful message, one learned by many here at King’s: they are asking us to hold onto our dreams and passions.