All posts by thefcbagpiper

The mission of the Bagpiper is to provide an open forum for the unrestricted exchange of ideas and opinions and to ethically report factual school, local, and world news to the high school community while objectively explaining the meaning and significance of the news to better educate the reader, and entertain the readers using acceptable journalistic devices.

Co-stage manager reveals behind-the-scenes look at ‘Newsies’ as performance at International Thespian Festival approaches

By Hannah Tarr

Editor’s Note: A&E reporter and copy editor Hannah Tarr is Co-Stage Manager for FC’s production of Newsies. This is a log of her day spent preparing for the show on the first day of rehearsals this summer.

7 a.m. June 4, 2018. I woke up. I ate breakfast to get fuel for the long day of Newsies work ahead of me.

7:15 I showered, then packed my bag with lunch and dinner.

7:50 I drove to school. I sang along to music to get myself hyped for the long day.

7:58 I arrived at school. To my surprise, no one else was in the parking lot except senior Jack Bishop, who was there for the lighting work session, which was scheduled to start at 8.

8 a.m. Bishop and I entered the school through the unlocked Performing Arts door. I put my lunchbox in the fridge in the theatre break room and we waited for people to show up.

8:13 Parent volunteers, the Star Boosters, had left a water cooler in the hallway for the cast to fill their water bottles with during rehearsals. Bishop and I took it to the custodial maintenance room and filled it with ice.

8:25 I texted the assistant lighting designer, junior Sam Hendrix, and found out the lighting session actually started at 9.

8:28 Bishop and I went to the picnic table outside the theatre door. I connected my laptop to my phone’s hotspot and started answering the dozen emails I had gotten in the past day. I emailed music director Angela Hampton about equipment we needed to borrow from her for recording rehearsals. I emailed a Star Booster about surprises she was planning for the cast and crew during rehearsals. I filed away some conflicts director Robbie Steiner had sent me into the spreadsheet we were keeping of when cast and crew members had scheduled absences from rehearsals. And so on.

8:56 Lighting designer Mike Nevitt, lighting mentor Sam Brown, and Crossfade (Nevitt’s lighting design company) employee Josh Robbins showed up, so we could now go back inside. They headed inside to get started while I wrapped up a few things on my computer.

9:10 Bishop went to help with lighting, and I started working in the tech office on printing paperwork.

The lighting crew were going to be doing light hang, where they hung the different lighting fixtures required by the show on their proper electrics, which are pipes that hang above the stage. During hang, some of the lighting crew would also have to be focused on cabling, to make sure each light was receiving power and information from the light board.

Meanwhile, I was printing cue sheets for every cast and crew member in the show. Cue sheets are used to tell cast and crew when and where they move set pieces during the show, including furniture pieces and our three giant towers. To clarify for them where those towers would go, we have created a transitions list, which shows who moves which tower during each of the 36 transitions of the show. This would be hung up in the hall for the cast and crew’s easy reference.

9:50 The printer had 70 jobs in its queue from all of those cue sheets and transitions, so I went onstage to start setting up the manager table and the keyboard. I set up a white table on the stage right half of the pit cover for me and my Co Stage Manager, graduate Makenna Baughman, to sit at. I put some chairs behind it, and brought the script, score, and Stage Manager Kit over to it. Our Stage Manager Kit, Franken “Stanley” Franklin, is a big Stanley brand toolbox that holds spike tape, scissors, pens, pencils, bandaids, Kleenexanything cast or crew could need during a rehearsal. On the stage left side of the pit cover went the keyboard on its stand with a chair and a music stand for our rehearsal pianist, Jess Bullock. I grabbed a speaker from the lighting storage room in the choir room, called the lighthouse, and plugged it into the keyboard. But I could not figure out where the keyboard power cord was.

10:40 The whole transition list was printed, so I took a break from working on the keyboard and got to work taping up the transition list in the hallway. I had printed each of the 36 transitions on its own sheet of paper, so I was going to tape them all in a line down the hallway.

10:43 Steiner walked in. He was pleased to see that I was working on putting up the transitions list. “Are you excited for rehearsal to start?” he asked me, enthusiastic as ever. “Heck yeah,” I said, genuinely. Even though it had already taken me a lot of work today to begin getting ready, and there were even more hours of working before the cast would even show up, I could not wait to get started.

10:50 Sophomore Frances Crim walked in to help out, so I passed off to her my current job of taping up the transitions list. I went back onstage to get set for spiking the set pieces. I got all of the colors of spike tape out of Stanley and arranged them in rainbow order. I called up all of the ground plans on my laptop, which are drawings of the stage for each scene to show where the towers are supposed to be set. I grabbed a printoff of the Spike Color Key, which showed the color we spiked each groundplan in and the two or three letter code we wrote on each tiny mark. We had created this when we did the spiking for the show back in November, and we wanted to use the same colors and codes so the cast and crew would remember their spikes easier.

11 a.m. Sound mentor Brad Murphy asked me to add some sound work sessions to the Google calendar and master schedule spreadsheet, so I did. We keep a spreadsheet of the whole schedule of rehearsals and work sessions that people can look at, and it is the managers’ jobs to make sure that is synced with the Google calendar that everyone can add to their phones. By having both of these things, everyone can hopefully always know when they need to be at school.

11:07 Steiner asked me to email out the schedule for the day’s choreography review, so I did. Our choreographer, Megan Bliss, had decided to run a half dozen of the songs in show order, and I listed them for the cast. She was optimistic that if everyone came prepared, we would be able to get out early, and I let them know that, too.

11:10 I showed Crim the next step of the transitions list: taping up all of the ground plans to go with the transitions. I had the row of transitions arranged so that each would be in between a ground plan, meaning that people could see that the people assigned to the transition would take the sets from the first groundplan to the next. Hopefully, this long row of pictures and assignments helps people to visualize and understand their cues.

11:30 The lighting work session finished working on electrics, leaving the deck clear, so Crim, Baughman, Steiner, and I started spiking the set pieces. We moved the three giant metal towers to each ground plan and put the properly colored spike tape down on the floor to mark where they belonged. Then we labelled it with the code, and put packing tape over the spike to protect it from dancers and mops. We used the ground plans on my laptop in combination with the production video on Steiner’s to figure out exactly where each piece needed to go for each ground plan.

1 p.m. My brother, freshman Jason Tarr, was helping lighting cable backstage, so I asked him to heat up my leftover Chinese food that I had packed and set it on the manager table so I could eat as I walked by it. I was hungry, but we were working too hard for me to take a break until we were done.

4:40 We finally finished spiking all 19 placements! Except for some smaller furniture pieces that we decided to spike the next day.

4:41 Baughman sat down to rest. I, less civilized, laid on the floor. We talked to our former tech teacher, Evan Wise, about the crazy few weeks we had ahead of us.

4:53 I got a sandwich leftover from the weekend’s dance recital from the break room fridge and ate it on the couch in the tech office, reading Game of Thrones on my Kindle. It was nice to get to sit down and gather myself again before the 5:30 choreography review.

5:15 Break time was over. Baughman and graduate Mitchell Lewis dust mopped the deck, and I finished setting up the keyboard for Bullock. It turned out the missing cables had been in Stanley.

5:28 I took attendance through the microphone that graduate Jordan Burger had just finished setting up. I and Steiner really like having a rehearsal microphone, because it can be difficult to raise your voice above the din of a 74 member cast.

5:30 I helped people get their cue sheets from the giant stack of printoffs I had made. Some of the more prodigious of the cast and crew had kept their cue sheets from November, or printed them off again in the months between, because they had been studying them to stay prepared.

5:37 Bliss arrived and took over rehearsal from assistant choreographer Michael Hommrich, and she and Steiner talked to the cast about unity, and about the amazing journey we were starting on again. My heart swelled as I listened to their words. The managers had had meetings with Steiner, and we had had music rehearsals in the choir room, and dance captain reviews in the dance studio, but here we were again: onstage. It was so close to being real.

5:50 We started the first walkthrough of the first song of the show, “Carrying the Banner.” The actors danced through the song moment to moment, stopping whenever Bliss had a note or one of them had a question.

6:19 Bliss announced that she had just had her first tear up moment of the remount. I did not blame her. “Carrying the Banner” is an adrenaline pumped song sung when the newsies are starting their day of selling newspapers, and it shows their unity and optimism in the face of obstacles the streets of New York City threw at them. It could be a metaphor for us, starting rehearsals again. The cast did it with just as much energy and poise as they did the night we closed in November.

6:44 We finished working through “Carrying the Banner” and went back to run it again. It was even better the second time around.

7:16 We had gotten through “Carrying the Banner Tag” and “Reprise” as well, so we took a five-minute break. I set the timer on my phone,  and announced the time remaining as it ticked down.

7:20 We began working on “The World Will Know.” This was an easier song to review than “Carrying the Banner” had been, because it is not as dance-heavy. But it was just as exciting. It is the number where the newsies get really mad at the newspaper owners and decide to go on strike. I got a little scared when the cast stomped downstage in an angry line and sang right in my and Baughman’s faces, “So the World says no!”

7:49 We finished reviewing “The World Will Know.” I got prop newspapers from Studio One to do “Seize the Day.” This was the number where the newsies actually went on strike. There is a part where the newsies tear newspapers in half, then dance on them, to really rub it in the newspaper owners’ faces. Our props master, senior Kirsten Gude, was not there, but she had told me where the newspapers were, so I got them for the cast to be able to rip up.

8:30 We finished “Seize the Day” and took another 5. The crew in attendance helped Baughman and I gather tables, benches, brooms, spoons, and trays needed for the final number, “King of New York.”

8:41 Locating all of those things had taken longer than a 5, but now we began working lifts in “King of New York.” It is always important to work lifts and fights out of context before you get to them in a song or the show, so you know that everyone involved is prepared to do it safely.

8:45 We began working the choreography of “King of New York.” This is a tap number, and tap has been FC’s forte since 42nd Street two years ago.

9:10 Rehearsal was over and the cast was dismissed. We had not gotten out early, as we had hoped, but we had gotten a lot done, so I think everyone was okay with that.

9:11 I gave a new script to sophomore Nathan Long. We had gotten brand new scripts from Music Theatre International for the remount, because we had returned our old ones, and in the months since some lines had been added and character names had been changed. I checked that number script out to Long in a spreadsheet, so we could track him down if he does not return it after we close.

9:13 Baughman and I talked to Bliss about what we would need to do for fight call for the remount. In the spaces we are remounting in, we will not have as much time to look at the fights and lifts before each show as we did when we performed in November. We decided I would email the cast to get their input on how to cut down on time, since they were the ones who would be missing out on practice.

9:15 Baughman and I began walking around the theatre doing strike: putting up props, putting away furniture, gathering abandoned water bottles, picking up left behind scripts.

9:20 Baughman and I debriefed with Lewis, since Steiner was talking to Bliss. During debrief, we typically ran through each note that would be in the night’s rehearsal report with Steiner. Lewis had been at all of the debriefs with me and the rest of the management for The Hunchback of Notre Dame, since he had been co director, so we figured we would debrief with him instead of waiting on Steiner.

9:30 Baughman and I went back to striking things.

9:42 We emptied the water cooler and left. I sang along to more jams on the way home. I had to stay awake and in a good mood because my work was not over just because I got to go home.

9:50 I got home and took a break: I ate a snack and caught up on my phone.

10:17 I typed up sent out the rehearsal report. From my student email account, I sent the report to all the members of the student production team for them to read, and from the FC Stage Manager email account I sent it to the adult production staff. I decided to take another break, and sat down and read more Game of Thrones.

11 p.m. I replied to more emails. I had gotten eight more over the course of the day that needed replies. Most were from parents of crew members wondering if their kids had to be at rehearsals in the coming days, so I had to check each tech’s cue sheet to see if they were involved in transitions that we would be running in each rehearsal, and then reply to the parent with my findings.

11:23 I started proofreading the program we were planning to use at the Kentucky Center. I had to check for typos on each page, as well as look closely at cast and crew lists to make sure they were totally accurate. I thought gravely of the four thousand people I thought would be reading this program in Whitney Hall. I did not want any typos or mistakes to slip through my fingers for them to read. I had no way to know that this audience would ultimately be in Floyd Central’s auditorium. Even if I had known, I would have combed the words just as closely. It is still a huge honor and privilege to be remounting Newsies before taking it to the International Thespian Festival. Our three sell-out shows speak to the fact that the Louisville community wants to see our show regardless of what venue it is in, or side of the river it is on. I am so thankful for that.

12:06 I finished proofing the program but decided it was too late at night to send the email with my corrections. I brushed my teeth and put on pajamas.

12:23 I read Game of Thrones in bed until I fell asleep. I had to get up at 7:45 the next day, and the day after that, to do it all again.

Newsies was slated to open tomorrow night at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, but because of the recent fire at the Kentucky Center, the show is opening tonight at Floyd Central instead. The sold-out run performs Thursday and Friday at 8 and Saturday at 2 On Sunday, the cast and crew travel to Nebraska to perform the show at the International Thespian Festival. You can follow and support their journey on social media with the hashtag #FCTANewsies.

Summer begins with interesting sports

By JD McKay

Summer break is finally here, and with it comes the worst two months in sports. Be prepared for one third of each baseball team’s regular season and Wimbledon starting at 4 a.m. in early July.  

However, the first week gives sports fans some hope. The Cleveland Cavaliers will be playing the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. This series will not be close. The Cavs haven’t had anything going besides Lebron James this postseason. The Warriors will take care of business in four, putting them in a class with the other great NBA teams.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural season are playing the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Knights have been a team made up of mostly scrubs from previous teams. However, when they play together, they are obviously playing very well and have a chance to win a championship in their first season. I think they will finish their magical run and win the Stanley Cup in six games.

This is my last column of this school year. I have enjoyed writing this and will be back to publishing my weekly sports columns starting August 1, the first Wednesday of next school year.

Senior Will DeVary stars in ‘Richard III’ at Walden Theatre Conservatory

By Hannah Tarr

On Payne Street in Louisville, an inconspicuous building stands above the residential buildings it surrounds. This three-story brick building l may not look like much, but inside is a world of theatre magic. This Commonwealth Theatre Center has been a huge part of senior Will DeVary’s life for the past five years.

DeVary has been involved with the Walden Theatre Conservatory at the Commonwealth Theatre Center since January 2013. That was his 7th grade year, and he had just finished A Christmas Story at Actors Theatre of Louisville. He was looking for a place to do theatre and specifically Shakespeare, and a friend in A Christmas Story recommended Walden to him.

The rest is history: “Yeah, I fell in love,” said DeVary.

It is easy to see why DeVary would enjoy Walden. According to DeVary, theatre classes are offered for people as young as three years old up to 18 years old. Younger children are introduced to theatre through improv classes, and high school students get to explore and perform plays at the Commonwealth Theatre Center. In the fall, those older students explore a rotation of playwrights. In the spring, they zero in on Shakespeare for the annual Young American Shakespeare Festival. In fact, Walden was the first theatre conservatory for young people in the world to perform the complete works of Shakespeare, a feat which they achieved last year. When they’re studying a play, Walden students are taught to consider movement, voice, and scene analysis. Students also learn stand up comedy, improv, and other general theatrical skills.

DeVary sums up all of this which Walden has taught him as “everything. Everything about everything.”

But there is one lesson that was never in the curriculum, which DeVary nevertheless considers to be the most important thing he has learned from Walden: the importance of being honest.

“I think the most important thing that it taught me was that it’s more important to fail and be honest than to succeed and not be honest. You know what I mean?” he said. “If you’re not true to yourself, then anything that you have is worthless and meaningless. But if you’re true to yourself, then you can fail, and you can have a glorious catastrophe of a failure, but you were yourself.”

DeVary said this was a difficult lesson for him to learn. He thinks that honesty is the scariest thing in the world, and it only gets worse when you’re onstage being honest for an audience. But thanks to Walden, he was able to strip away everything else and become honest, both in his real life and onstage.

Onstage, he is currently performing in one of the biggest roles possible: Richard III, who has the third most lines in Shakespeare. DeVary finds this role infinitely fascinating.

Richard III is a villain. But DeVary says he isn’t a classic villain. Instead, he frequently addresses the audience, so he makes the audience complicit in his crimes. DeVary’s voice grows even more animated than it usually is when he talks about this unique characteristic of the show.

“He falls in a Machiavellian tradition of hiding himself in public in order to achieve private goals and private ends to become a king,” said DeVary. “But he tells the audience exactly what he wants, always completely truthful with them, which creates one of the most fascinating relationships in all of theatre because the scene partner that he shares the most time with is the audience.”

DeVary said that because his character talks to the audience so much, that makes them complicit in his crimes. Their willingness to be so reveals a lot about human nature.

“He is an incredibly charming devil who makes the audience laugh and really gets the audience on his side, and the audience forgets that he’s doing these really terrible things until it’s too late,” he said. “Which I think is such an incredibly fascinating thing because it shows just how susceptible we are at being controlled by these nefarious populist figures who come in and try to take over.”

The show is an examination of power, and the lengths people go to attain power. Richard III begins the show set on stopping at nothing to win the crown. But he changes throughout the course of the show.

“There’s a wonderful quote that talks about the fact that he is a man who doesn’t have a conscience but gains one throughout the show, which is incredibly interesting to try and play and discover,” said DeVary.

DeVary has been discovering the character of Richard III for a while now. He calls it a role that has haunted him because he has played it before, in Henry VI Part 3. In fact, a scene from Richard III was the first scene he ever did at Walden. And now, it is the last role he ever gets to perform there.

“I haven’t processed it whatsoever,” he said about the fact that this is the end of his time at Walden. He’s done more than twenty shows there, so it’s been a huge part of his life. He’s fallen in love there, had his heart broken there. And between it all, he’s grown as a performer, advancing from bit parts without lines to Richard III.

This fall, DeVary leaves Floyds Knobs to travel to Ithaca College in New York. He can’t believe he’s leaving Walden.

“I’ve felt every conceivable type of emotion there, and it’s really like leaving behind my home,” he said. “So it’s absolutely, incredibly scary and sad, because that place has just really been everything to me.”

But at the same time, he’s looking forward to the future that going off to college is going to give him.

“David Bowie has this wonderful quote where he talks about if you ever want to grow as an artist, you can’t stay in the small end of the pool,” he said, referencing one of his favorite musicians. “You have to put yourself somewhere just a little bit out of your comfort zone and that’s where you grow, so that’s hopefully what I’m doing. Going to the deep end and either sinking or swimming and lord help me, hopefully I’ll learn to swim!”

Thanks to all that DeVary has learned during his years at Walden, he is surely prepared to learn to swim.

 

COLUMN: REFLECTING ON THE ’17-’18 SCHOOL YEAR’S SPORTS

By JD McKay

I know I have said this a lot throughout this year, but this has been a historic year for FC. Our sports teams have torn up the competition and rivals Jeffersonville, New Albany, and Providence.

Boys’ cross country season was respectable, finishing in fifth sectionals, and sophomore David Heinemann finished eighth. The girls had more success. They won sectionals behind a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place finishes from senior Faith Barba, senior Kyley Sorg, senior Erica Batliner, and freshman Natalie Clare, respectively. The girls beat both New Albany and Jeff in sectionals. In regionals, Sorg finished first, and sophomore Sydney Liddle finished third. They won the regional, with all seven runners finishing in the top twelve.

The football team performed above expectations. The Highlanders were expected to have a pretty average season, but ended up finishing 8-3. The team was injury plagued but fought through and eventually finished second in conference. Losing to Louisville Male and state champion Columbus East twice. However, the Highlanders beat beat Jeff once, thumped New Albany twice, and destroyed Providence once.

Girls’ golf had another good season. Senior Jillian Moorefield’s sectional victory helped boost the Lady Highlanders to a sectional championship, beating New Albany, Jeff, and Providence in sectionals.
The Lady Highlander soccer team also won sectionals. The girls soccer team beat New Albany in the sectional championship because of a shootout goal from sophomore Marlea Ferber after finishing regulation at 0-0. They beat Jeff 5-0 and tied Providence 0-0. Boys’ soccer lost to Columbus East in the first round of sectionals, but beat New Albany 5-1, Providence 2-0, and tied with Jeff.

Volleyball had a solid season, but came up short against Providence in the second round of sectionals. However, they beat New Albany in straight sets twice, and beat Jeff in straight sets twice.

Boys’ tennis had a sectional title winning season. They won three straight matches in straight sets to advance to regionals, where they lost in the second round. However, they had  a winning record this season against Jeff, New Albany, and Providence.

Girls’ basketball was the one sport that didn’t have a great season. Injuries plagued the Lady Highlanders for most of the season. However, they won the Southern Lady Trojans Holiday Jamboree.

Boys’ basketball had a year rivaling the Superhicks or Pat Graham-led teams. They went 7-0 in conference and were conference champions. However, didn’t win sectionals, but had an excitement revolving around them the whole season. They beat New Albany at home by two because of 17 points from senior Luke Gohmann and 14 points from junior Cobie Barnes. They lost to New Albany in sectionals, to finish 1-1 against the Bulldogs, swept Jeff, and beat Providence once.

Boys’ and girls’ swimming both had undefeated seasons. Boys won sectionals by 211 points over Jeff, 332 points over New Albany, and 455 over Providence. The girls won sectionals as well, but their results were much closer. They beat Jeff by 24 points, New Albany by 306.5, and Providence by 424.5 points.

Wrestling piled on to our successful winter sports. They won sectionals and beat New Albany in sectionals by 68.5 points. Freshman Gavinn Alstott lost in the first round of the state meet, and senior Tristan Sellmer finished fourth in state.

Softball is having a season similar to the rest of the teams on here. They beat Jeff and New Albany and won conference. They are currently on path to win sectionals and play in regionals.

Just a few weeks into baseball season, it looked liked the baseball team was going to have bad year. But, they beat New Albany 3-2 behind a complete game gem from junior Adam Spalding two weeks ago and could use his performance to spring into the postseason.

Boys’ golf is having a perfect season. They won conference and could potentially win sectionals over New Albany, Jeff, and Providence.

The girls’ tennis team won sectionals again this season. The Lady Highlanders also won conference over New Albany and Jeff.

The track seasons for both boys’ and girls’ is going almost as planned. The girls’ team lost conference to New Albany, but beat Jeff. Then, one week later, they beat the Bulldogs and Pioneers in sectionals. Yesterday, the Lady Highlanders won regionals over New Albany by seven points.

The boys have performed above predictions. The boys went into the conference meet predicted to lose to Jeff by 20 points, 143 points later, and the Highlanders were conference champions by 20 points. Then, a week later, the Highlanders won sectionals over New Albany and Providence with total control.

Unified track is having a season similar to the other track teams. They finished second in sectionals, and are advancing to regionals. They beat the New Albany team by 30.5 points.

This has been a great year to be a Highlander. We have dominated our big three rivals in almost every sport, and have won several conference and sectional titles. Hopefully this success will carry over into next year.

‘Love, Simon’ resonates with LGBT youth

By Eleni Pappas

Meet Simon Spier. A teenager just like everyone else, trying to figure out their identity, drinking too much iced coffee, watching awful ‘90s movies, hanging out at Waffle House dreaming of college and devouring carbs. A quarterback father, a valedictorian mother, and a younger sister he can actually stand. He leads a perfectly normal life. Except this teen has one huge secret: nobody knows he’s gay. He’s hasn’t told his family or his friends, but he’s fallen in love with someone anonymous online. Now he quickly has to find out who this mysterious “Blue” is before a blackmailer reveals their relationship and scares him off for good.

Love, Simon is directed by Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash) and inspired by the book, Simon vs The Homosapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli, starring Nick Robinson (Everything, Everything) as the title character. The film also casts more recognizable names such as Katherine Langford and Miles Heizer (13 Reasons Why), Keiynan Lonsdale (The Flash), and Jennifer Garner (Alias) and Josh Duhamel (Safe Haven) as Simon’s parents. Since its theater release on March 16 this year, thousands of articles have been written for it and has received a 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

The movie begins with Simon’s narration that his life is that of a regular teenager, identifying himself as “just like you.” He relents the only difference between him and the audience is that he carries a big secret. Just as he is supposedly about to reveal that secret, he finds out there’s a closeted gay kid, calling himself Blue, via his school’s gossip blog. Immediately Simon opens an email to send a message to him, and then hesitates before typing that he is just like Blue, and quickly getting on a roll telling him all about himself. Simon signs the email as from Jacques, and from there the two begin a back and forth that grows to a blossoming online relationship. Clues from conversations in school leads him to suspecting multiple of his classmates of being Blue, but is seemingly disproven every time. The real conflict begins when someone catches Simon sending the emails, and blackmails him to get closer to one of his female friends. So Simon starts spinning a web of lies to protect his secret and remain “normal” just a little while longer.

There is much to praise about Love, Simon. It is a groundbreaking LGBT film for its portrayal of a relatable protagonist. Simon keeps his secret because he doesn’t want things to change, not because he’s ashamed or thinks his family won’t accept him. However, there are issues. Some audiences think the movie doesn’t quite fit the LGBT genre. However, it is still a great film. As a Flash fan, Lonsdale’s role was thoroughly enjoyable for the limited screen time he received. Robinson’s delivery as Simon was hilarious and heartfelt, as was Duhamel and Gardner. The scenes where they, the parents, each have a talk with Simon were very touching.

On the whole, Love, Simon was a wonderful movie which featured a teenager coming to terms with his sexuality and finding love in the modern era. Even if audiences can’t relate directly to Simon’s story, they can understand the subplots and themes within it. It can be hard for any teen to figure out who they are and find genuine connections to their peers. Just as it is for Simon, it can be very scary to be faced with great and imminent change. While not just anyone will perfectly understand Simon’s struggle, it is a movie that all people should give a chance.