The Season of Magic: HMHS Drama Club Presents the Book of Everything


Mary Clare Michael, Editor

On October 21, 23, and 24 the HMHS Drama Club will present their fall play, The Book of Everything. The play is based off of a children’s novel by the same name and follows nine-year old Thomas, who sees things that others cannot: tropical fish in the Amsterdam Canal, a hailstorm of frogs, and visitors from another world. He also sees the unhappiness of his family, the violence of his father, and the pain that lingers long after the second world war. Thomas writes everything–good and bad–in his Book of Everything.

This play is unique from those done in the past. Because it is from the perspective of an imaginative nine-year old, the script acts as a base to implement devised theater techniques. The ten-person ensemble plays an integral role in the story, using movement to flesh out Thomas’s imagination. HMHS junior and ensemble member Allison Sharlow says, “I have a lot of roles. I’m in most of the scenes as pretty much anything. It’s a lot of movement– I actually play a hailstorm at one point. It’s been kind of weird figuring out how to move in a way that creates all of these things, but it’s been fun. Challenging, but fun.”

The Book of Everything–despite being a children’s play–deals with important themes. Audiences should be aware that this play depicts scenes of domestic and child abuse, and deals with similarly heavy topics of religion, sexism, and coping with trauma. Despite the dark themes, the play still manages to embrace childhood joy as the women in Thomas’s life teach him to stand up against his father and embrace his imagination.

“It’s been a really interesting show to work on because it handles a lot of really deep and dark topics like abuse and Nazism and all sorts of things like that, which are definitely hard to watch and hard to do well. But I feel like everyone is doing a really good job making it a meaningful production, and I’m super excited to see how it turns out,” says HMHS senior and stage manager Ann Haas.

Another aspect that is unique to this production is the set. The play features one set which does not move the entire time, different from years past. The set designer Bob Shindle made the artistic choice to paint the sets in streaky colors to imitate a child’s drawings. As always, the set looks amazing. 

Everyone, cast and crew, is working out of their comfort zone to produce a play that will be truly special. Performances are October 21 and 23 at 7:30, and October 24 at 2:00 pm. Masks are required for audience members. Audiences are able to purchase tickets at or at the door. Come out and support these amazing performers in a truly unique show!