Hvmplay will NOT be performed this year at 7 pm the nights of April 20, April 21, and April 22 in Vollum Lecture Hall.
It is with tearful eyes and quaking knees that the direktors of HVMplay MMXXIII have announced that this year’s edition of Reed’s most beloved theatrical production will be canceled.
HVMplay is a traditional, satirical play performed by freshmen the week before Renn Fayre, and had this cancellation not occurred, it would have been scheduled to open at 7 pm on Thursday, April 20, in Vollum Lecture Hall, and make two more performances on the nights of the 21st and 22nd.
“This decision was not made lightly,” says Ares Carnathan (‘25), who could barely make it through the interview. The other direktors were observed quietly sobbing, trembling, and generally looking very pale. Direktor Lemon Mastel (‘25) remained sitting in the corner for the full two hours the Quest staff were present, completely inconsolable to the offers of cookies from the staff.
Direktors stated that HVMplay’s cancellation was due to an unforeseen visitation by a dark, moist, and unknown force during last Sunday’s rehearsal. At approximately 10:59 PM, just before the clock signaled the end of rehearsal, all direktors had their minds suddenly teleported to a strange temporal realm. Luckily, their bodies remained in Vollum Lecture Hall, and they appeared to cast members to be in an almost sleep-like trance, despite their glazed and staring eyes. The direktors, however, described an abrupt location change that would make even the most seasoned sailor a bit green around the gills. Sophia Lenczowski (‘25) remarked that it “was like being trapped in a cold and damp cave … but it was also moving underneath me … I’ll never forget that dreadful feeling of the world pulsating around me.” Within this “seemingly endless darkness,” as described by Kenna McCauley (‘25), a voice reverberated through each direktor. Through a laborious exchange between the direktors still capable of speech, the Quest managed to piece together the message sent:
“Listen, you witless students … the fate of HVMplay is irreversibly predestined to mark the downfall of humankind … a performance such as this can only result in catastrophic destruction the extent of which Reed College has never witnessed before. And you, dear direktors, dear cast members, will be the first to fall. We have already infiltrated the building you call ‘Trillium,’ and no foolish attempts at evacuation will be effective enough to stop our attack.”
The direktors were then launched back into their bodies as quickly as they had left them, causing direktor Cass Biles (‘25) to spew the remnants of her dinner onto the floor. “God, your puke is magical!” remarked cast member Skyden Canfield (‘26), who was unphased by the direktors’ strange behavior. Other actors, however, described their confusion about the circumstances: “The direktors are normally pretty strange, so at first I didn’t think anything of it,” remarked cast member Grace Mauk (‘26), “but then it just kept going.” Actor Zoe Fleysher (‘26) even claimed that once the direktors awoke from their simultaneous trance, they all refused to speak. Fleysher stated that “Eve actually flinched when I went up to them! That’s when we knew something was seriously wrong.” Jake Booin stated that despite him “pok[ing] Lew with a stick,” direktor Lindsay Worrel remained immobile on the floor of Vollum Lecture hall, where, to the Quest’s knowledge, they currently remain.
Unsurprisingly, this disturbing event was taken poorly by the cast members of this year’s HVM play. Chaos quickly descended upon the freshmen as direktors’ leadership vanished; factions formed, territorial disputes ran rampant, and the monolith of HVMplay appeared to crumble at the actors’ feet. Some have even planned on scaling an attack on the dangerous force that currently preys on the college’s largest residence hall. “We can’t let the mold win,” declared Michael Hubbard (‘26), who describes himself as the leader of the resistance. “We must take matters into our own hands to save the direktors and our precious play.”
At this point in time, we can only pray for the well-being of both HVMplay’s direktors and cast members. While most of us at the Quest face this ominous experience with dread, some remain
hopeful that this is only a temporary stumbling block. “HVMplay unites us as a community,” Declan Bradley (‘26) remarks, “[the mold] wants to keep us divided … and it’s trying to hit us when we are weakened and unable to fight.” Bradley, with many others, hopes that HVMplay will make a return despite the fungal death threats against the cast and direktors.
“I think we should all take a moment to reflect upon the dark forces at play in our school,” cast member Andee Gude (‘26) remarks, “I myself will certainly be reflecting on the dates HVMplay was supposed to occur, the dates of April 20-22 at 7 pm in Vollum Lecture Hall.”