Viking Call

Upper Merion High's Student Newspaper

Student Life

A Tell All With Mr. Barash

It is often said that in a trio one person is always left out, which explains why duos
are considered to be stronger. However, if duos supposedly work, then why is it that the
school play is continuously outshined by the yearly musical? I only ask that question
because the musical never fails to be the talk of the town, despite the play being put on
in the fall, compared to its counterpart, which is always put on in the spring. That’s not
to say I don’t understand the buzz around Mean Girls, I do. I’m just wondering where
the same amount of love and excitement for A Curious Incident of the Dog in the
Night-Time is.
Now, I could go on about the play itself, and why you, the reader, should go watch it in
November, but I’m certainly not knowledgeable enough for that. Especially when
compared to Upper Merion Area High School’s very own designated director of the fall
play. Mr. Barash, as well as being a beloved English and Social Studies teacher, is the
all knowing person when it comes to the upcoming production. Having said that, it was a
no-brainer that I interviewed him for this article.
Without further ado, here’s a “tell all” with Mr. Barash:
Q1: To start off, what is A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time about?
“This show is about a 15 year old boy named Christopher who decides to investigate a
murder in his neighborhood, and along the way he finds out some disturbing secrets
about his parents, and navigates the world as a neurodivergent person. He overcomes
his anxieties about talking to strangers, going new places, and realizes that he can do
anything he wants – like fulfill his dreams of becoming an astronaut.”
Q2: Out of all the plays, why was this one chosen?
“So many reasons! We wanted to do something a little darker and more serious than
we have done in the last couple years, and while this show has some funny moments, it
is an emotional piece – we wanted to give our actors an opportunity to showcase their
range. It also is a contemporary title and we liked that the protagonist was a teenager,
not an adult. It also has a lot of technical elements that will hopefully give us an

opportunity to use the new equipment and show off what the new theater can do. We
also really liked that this show provided us with an opportunity to tell someone’s story
that you don’t often see on stage. It is also a book that is taught in English classes, so
we like performing those titles.”
Q3: What makes this play different from the others that have been
performed at the high school in recent years?
“The last few years have largely been focused on comedic shows as we came out of
the pandemic and everyone just wanted some light entertainment. This show is a little
more serious and has some more depth. Last year, we also did not have a theater when
the school year began and had to make do with what we had. Now that we have a
functional theater, we wanted to use all of the equipment to create something a that’s a
little bit more of a spectacle – try things we’ve never been able to do before and have
the students who run the technical aspects of the show learn what might be possible
and how to achieve some really cool things.”
Q4: Why should students and staff come out to watch the show in
“This show is one of the most ambitious projects our theater program has ever
undertaken – it is a huge technical and acting challenge, and I am so excited for people
to see everything our students and school are capable of. I am really optimistic that this
show will really be something special. Between the excellent performers on stage and
the level of precision required of students running the technical and backstage
elements, this should be the best of Upper Merion; this show has some genuinely
touching moments, and works with some difficult issues, and I think the audiences will
end up really emotionally invested.”
Q5: Without spoiling, are there any moments or elements to the play that may
surprise or excite the audience?
“I think this show will allow audiences to see a different side of the Drama Department
than we’ve seen before. The actors are diving really deeply into the text and acting skills

— including accents and some stage combat! And the technical elements will
(hopefully) be something really special – we have two brand new professional-level
projectors, both of which we plan on using to create some really cool effects, as well as
all kinds of LEDs.”


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