Making the Audience Squirm, but ‘Funny Squirming’

“I love him,” Wolanin swooned. “In undergrad I first fell in love with him and I saw ‘The Imaginary Invalid’ and ‘The Misanthrope’ and, of course, ‘Tartuffe.’ ‘Tartuffe’ is my favorite. It’s just…”

With that, Director Kristin Wolanin trailed off in smiling reverie. The “him” she fell in love with is Molière, one of the French language’s greatest playwrights, whose comedies have remained popular since the 17th century and continue to grace stages around the world.

The curtain will rise on the Lancaster Country Day theater troupe’s production of “Tartuffe” at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 1-3, with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, Nov. 3. Advance tickets are $7 and available here. They will be $10 at the door.


Written in 1664, “Tartuffe” has left a lasting impression on both French and English, with the name of its main character entering the lexicon as a byword for a religious hypocrite or someone who puts on ostentatiously virtuous airs.

“Tartuffe is a piece of work,” Wolanin said, going easy on the play’s titular pious fraud, who cons and swindles and attempts to corrupt every other character in the play. “He’s selling salvation and the rest of the characters so blindly believe that this guy is their salvation. Until they’re forced to learn otherwise.”

In bringing to life a story written in another language more than three and a half centuries ago, the cast faced a daunting challenge, but the main difficulty came neither from the translation nor cultural distance. What makes “Tartuffe” particularly tricky to perform in a naturalistic way is that the entire play is composed in rhyming couplets.

“Getting the rhythm of the dialogue right has been probably the hardest part for everybody, but when they get there and it just flows and they’re comfortable with it, it’s beautiful,” said Wolanin. “I love that it was written in 1664 and still feels timely. And timeless.”

One thing that’s not timeless is fashion, but for this production, Wolanin opted to be true to the period, decking the cast in full Louis XIV-era regalia. To help get the look right, the school partnered with Millersville University for its costumes, which don’t skimp on the powdery wigs or frilly frocks.

A skill that was vital for the actors to master, and that will be just as important for the audience, is listening closely. While someone in the course of regular talking could speak in iambic pentameter without it sounding stilted, the odds of that person communicating in extemporaneous rhyming couplets are decidedly slimmer.

But Wolanin promises that the audience’s close listening will be rewarded.

“I want people to come away thinking about whether they’re being Tartuffed somehow,” Wolanin said. “It might make people squirm. But funny squirming.”

“Tartuffe,” 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 1-3, with a 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, Nov. 3. Advance tickets are $7 and available here. They will be $10 at the door.

“Tartuffe” Cast & Crew


Orgon — David W.
Elmire — Kendall K.
Damis — Laurel M.
Mariane — May B.
Madame Pernelle — Mira H.
Valere — Hayden F.
Cleante — Ben K.
Tartuffe — Thomas W.
Dorine — Adrien W.
Flipote — Amelia L.
The Officer of the King — Tess M.
M. Loyal — Frannie T.


Production Stage Manager — Malia C.
Assistant Stage Managers — Kylie D. and Joan M.
Sound Designers — Grace F. and Piper S.
Sound Run — Piper S.
Props Mistress and Run — Gaby N.
Props Crew — Mira H., Tess M., Maya R. and Linnea W.
Props Run — Linnea W.
Lead Set Design — Carly C.
Set Crew/Stage Crew — Julia B., Riyley E., Amelia L., Piper S., Adrien W. and Linnea W.
Publicity Chief — Charley W.
Costume Mistress and Run — Katrina F.
Costume Crew — Julia B., Sam L., Sarah H., Amelia L., Christopher M., Julia N., Sadi S., Frannie T. and Adrien W.
Costume Run — Amelia L., Christopher M., Julia N. and Sadi S.
Master Electrician and Run — Justin K.
Box Office Manager and Run — Amelia S.
Box Office Assistant and Run — Sophie M.
House Manager and Run — Maya R.
Ushers — Julia B., Carly C., Riley E., Sam L., Grace F. and Sarah H.

Fall Sports Slideshow and Wrap-Up

As the fall sports season comes toward the finish line, five varsity teams have secured berths in the postseason, whether in League or District play, and two others could achieve the same with a strong finish to the regular season and some helpful losses from their League competitors. Below is a thorough team-by-team summary compiled by Director of Athletics Zac Kraft.

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The Girls’ Tennis team ended the regular season with an overall record of 10-1, 5-1 in L-L League Section 4 (second place). The Cougars lost to Lampeter Strasburg in the first round of the L-L League Team Tournament. The Cougars (No. 4 Seed) qualified for the District III Team Tournament and will face Delone Catholic (No. 5 Seed) in the first round today. Individually, Cassidy G. ’21 placed fourth in the L-L League 2A Singles Tournament, and, along with Kendall K. ’19, qualified for the District III Singles Tournament which will begin Friday at Hershey Racquet Club.

The Golf team finished the regular season with an overall record of 22-8, 19-6 in L-L League Section 3 (second place). Matt B. ’19 and Nick H. ’19 finished second and third, respectively, in Section 3 scoring average. At the L-L League Individual Championships at Conestoga Country Club Sept. 24, Matt (t-ninth) Nick (t-15th) and Phoebe S. ’22 (11th) earned medals and qualified for the PIAA District III Championships at Briarwood Golf Club. Nick placed fourth (+11 over two days), Berkenstock 10th (+18) in the 2A Boys and Stover placed fifth in the 2A girls. Nick and Phoebe advanced to the PIAA Regional Qualifier Monday, Oct. 15 at Golden Oaks Golf Club in Berks County.

The Girls’ Soccer team is currently 7-8 overall, 4-8 in L-L League Section 4 (fifth place) with two non-league games remaining on the schedule. The Cougars will miss out on the L-L League Playoffs, but have quailed for the PIAA District III Single A Tournament which will begin Monday, October 22.

The Boys’ Soccer team finished the regular season 12-4-1 overall, 9-3 in L-L League Section 4 (third place). The Cougars will miss out on the L-L League Playoffs, but have qualified for the PIAA District III Single A Tournament, and will host a Quarterfinal Round game Wednesday, Oct. 24.

The Field Hockey team is currently 10-6-1 overall, 9-5-1 in L-L League Section 3 (fifth place). The Cougars will miss out on the L-L League Playoffs, and must win their regular season finale at home vs. ELCO on Friday to have a chance at qualifying for the PIAA District III Single A Tournament.

The McCaskey Boys’ and Girls’ Cross Country teams finished the regular season 7-3 and 5-5, respectively, and will now begin preparations for the L-L League Championships Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Ephrata Middle School, District III Championships Oct. 27 at Big Spring High School and PIAA State Championships Nov. 3 in Hershey. Arielle B. ’21 is ranked among the top female runners in the League.

The LCHS Girls’ Volleyball Team is currently 9-5 overall, 6-3 in L-L League Section 3 (third place) with three matches remaining. With a strong finish, the Crusaders could qualify for the L-L League and PIAA District III playoffs.

Spirit Week & TACO in Photographs

Experience the story of Spirit Week through the lenses of Cougar News Photography Interns Hayden F. ’20, Arielle B. ’21, and seniors Carly C. and Mason L. Their teacher, Donna Wilcox, was a fellow visual raconteur, chronicling Take A Child Outside Week. We would also like to thank Dr. Trout, Mrs. Trout and Mr. Lisk for contributing photos. Finally, we doff our hats to the senior class, who did primary colors proud by wearing red to victory in Color Wars 2018.

TACO — Donna1
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raceforhome — Mason

The Newfound Strength in Learning to be Vulnerable

Chris Andrews ’12 had passed through El Paso and was somewhere just outside the New Mexico border when he lost his cell phone signal. He knew that ahead of him lay at least seven days of desert and technological desertion, and his reaction was visceral.

“When I walked into that silence, it was awful,” he said to the assembled Upper School. “It was withdrawal in the simplest sense. I was hearing phantom dings and rings. I was losing my mind and it was a basic, biological response.”

This was the most psychologically trying part of Andrews’ “Let’s Talk” project. From August 2016-March 2017, Andrews walked 3,200 miles from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, in an effort to connect with people one-on-one and to interrogate the effect of technology on ourselves and our interactions with one another. He set out with a three-wheeled cart with all of his possessions for the trek, and relied on the kindness of strangers to help him along, and to engage with him and his message. Over those eight months, Andrews conducted almost 11,000 interviews and, through them, came to better understand himself and his fellow Americans.

This quixotic voyage of American discovery began, ironically enough, in Scotland. Andrews was a junior at the University of St. Andrews and found that he “felt numb.” His days were interspersed with and bookended by long dives into social media that he came to recognize as a crutch. “Whenever I felt discomfort or boredom or exhaustion, I would reach for my phone,” Andrews said. “It was always in a moment of weakness.”

Andrews has given TED Talks about our relationship to technology, and the chronicling and broader message about his effort is on the web at In preparation for his visit, Upper School students were invited to go phone-less for a day, and then discuss the experience with their advisor groups before Andrews’ talk.

Betsy Heim sat in an eight-desk cluster with her advisees as the she talked about the experience with her kids who did and who didn’t participate.

“I personally believe I have healthy phone habits but I thought I should test it,” said Amelia S. ’21. “The thing I didn’t realize was all the little moments throughout the day when I look at my phone. Like, at one point I had to get up and go find a clock because I didn’t have my phone and that’s what I always look at to see what time it is.”

Heim’s advisees also talked about involuntary phone separation.

“There was a period of time when I lost my phone, and I learned how to bake and cook, and do a bunch of things I wouldn’t have made time for otherwise,” said Amelia S. ’21

Bella D. ’21 said, “I got my phone taken away for three months, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. My friends told me what was going on, and since then, I’m not on my phone nearly as much.”

For Heim, running is her catharsis, the way she gets at solutions and separates the signal from the noise. “The harder the problem, the longer I run, or the faster I run,” she said. “Ms. Stuart does her best thinking in the shower and what our approaches have in common is that there’s nothing else to focus on in that moment, there’s nothing to distract you. When you’re running, you’re running; when you’re in the shower, the shower’s the only thing you’ve got going on.

“It’s OK to be bored, right?! Just go with it. See what you end up doing,” Heim said.

Back in the theater, Andrews was finishing up his talk before playing a song off his new record and fielding questions from one of the most enthusiastic and engaged Upper School audiences ever to assemble for a speaker. His message wasn’t some nutty Luddite preaching, but rather a practical prescription for navigating the modern world while freeing a part of yourself from it.

“Phones are great. They open up the world to us. But sometimes we sense that we use them more than we’d like,” Andrews said, before laying out his “reasonable and exciting way forward.” This consists of small steps such as using a dedicated alarm clock instead of your phone’s alarm, to setting aside time for thoughtful reflection and simple person-to-person interaction and contact.

“Fear is at the center of all this [dependency,]” Andrews continued. “Talking to people is scary and walking is slow but it blows technology away. You’ve got to remember to be vulnerable, and to listen to others and to yourself. Only then are we truly alive.”

Click below to read more about Chris and “Let’s Talk.”

Too True to be Good

By Amelia L. ’21
Photos by Abigail G. ’20 and Konrad L. ’19

To a tourist, the city of Cape Town feels like a city that is almost too good to be true. It boasts the majestic vistas of Table Mountain and the stunning beaches of Muizenberg. When I first arrived, I was in shock at how beautiful the scenery was; it felt like I had stepped into a storybook.

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However, a few days into staying in Cape Town I began to realize the pain the city, and the country as a whole, continues to face due to the lingering effects of apartheid.

As part of this institutional segregation, blacks were forced to live in areas away from cities called townships; they were not allowed to work or even travel to certain sections of cities; and they were not only censored in their ability to express their pain, but censored from communicating with the rest of the world as well.

While whites lived in well-policed estates and went to good schools, blacks were relegated to a substandard education and life in crime-ridden areas.

Everyone seemed to be distrustful of one another. Every single building, office, restaurant and home had some kind of fencing around it, shutting it off from the rest of the world. These realities shocked me, because this level of racism and segregation had never been a part of my daily life before.

I started to realize the parallels between South Africa and the legacy of Jim Crow in the United States, and was finally able to empathize with what had been in front of me all my life.

I began to ask my fellow students at Herschel Girls School about apartheid, and soon realized how helpless the youth felt. They felt that, despite their best efforts, there was ultimately little they could do about the discrimination blacks face because it was built into the system they’d grown up in and so deeply rooted in South Africa’s history. How could they possibly undo this tightly woven shroud of racism that covered nearly every aspect of daily life?

Despite these daunting hurdles, the students did everything they could to change the status quo, from community service to political activism. They wrote to their representatives and sat in on parliament to understand the decisions that were being made that affected them. They also had many clubs dedicated to speaking of racism, discrimination and current events in South Africa, and effecting positive change in all those areas.

I’m so thankful that I was able to go to South Africa and discover this all for myself. It was truly an eye-opening and life-changing trip.