Review: Broad Run’s ‘That Sinking Feeling: The Misfortunate Few’

By Cora Barr, Quince Orchard High School 

“Humor is tragedy plus time,” said Brant Powell, quoting Mark Twain, when asked why he wrote a comedic play surrounding the events of the Titanic. Broad Run High School proved that it is indeed possible to view the Titanic in a more broad context with their commendable production of “That Sinking Feeling: The Misfortunate Few” during this difficult time.

The film traveled back to the year 1912, just as the Titanic struck an iceberg with thousands of passengers aboard. A group of passengers and staff with clashing personalities hilariously attempted to escape a tragic and unfortunate death as they scrambled to follow the “women and children first” protocol before escaping on a lifeboat. The film followed one of three stories on separate lifeboats that are each introduced by three real musicians who were aboard the Titanic. Broad Run High School will reveal the fates of the other boats on March 3rd at One Loudoun Alamo Drafthouse, for a drive-in movie viewing of the last two Acts.

That Sinking Feeling: The Misfortunate Few was captivating from the very beginning. The actors’ names appeared above them as they walked across the screen, allowing the audience a glimpse of each character. The introduction was a perfect way to bring the audience into the story, while acting as a virtual “curtain call.” Clear masks were worn by the actors while filming, which was a brilliant choice by the production team. It allowed the audience to capture the actors’ marvelous facial expressions throughout the film.

The film was shot with the actors in separate locations, then edited together by the team for the final product. It was truly impressive how the editing crew spaced out the actors and timed the delivery of dialogue flawlessly, creating the illusion that all the actors were in the same setting. It was clear that the film was carefully edited and time and effort was put into choosing a variety of camera angles that would give the film more depth. The costumes and props were detailed and were ideal representations of the time period.

Frederick and Samuel Collins (Katelyn Smith) were passengers on the ship and twin brothers who couldn’t have been more polar opposites. Frederick was an intense, short-tempered man who did anything he could to get himself onto the lifeboat, while Sam was a calm, kind-hearted soul with a concern for his fellow passengers’ well-being. Smith gave a stunning performance as these two completely different characters and was spectacularly and effortlessly able to switch between them. In addition, Smith admirably filmed her own scenes without the technical elements or assistance from the crew, and this was almost indistinguishable.

Madame Zora Van Zant (Naomi Dimberu), otherwise known as the Mis-fortune Teller, was a kooky passenger who claimed that she had the incredible ability to predict disasters. She sat back and relaxed with a bag of popcorn as the events of the catastrophe that she knew would occur unraveled. Dimberu’s crazed facial expressions were a delight as she relayed her silly stories that foreshadowed future events in the films.

That Sinking Feeling: The Misfortunate Few was a creative, elaborate production that proved that theatre during the pandemic is still alive and well. If you are looking for a laugh or a little bit of chaotic entertainment, be sure to view Broad Run High School’s production of That Sinking Feeling: The Misfortunate Few. Additionally, come see the second two stories at the One Loudoun Alamo Drafthouse Drive In Theatre on March 3, and make sure to ask Madame Zora for your complementary “I Survived the Titanic” T-shirt afterwards.

This play will be performed at Alamo Drive-In on March 3 at 7 p.m.Tickets are available at:

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