Creek Presents “The Oregon Trail”


Quinn Rudnick

Modern-day Mary Jane, played by sophomore Bridget Brown (left) in the Dysentery cast, speaks to her sister, played by junior Becca Dwyer (right), after coming home in tears. For most of the show, Mary Jane remained a calm person who didn’t show emotion; but after being trapped in an elevator for three hours, she grows concerned that her life is meaningless.

Creek’s theater program held their spring musical production of The Oregon Trail from April 27 to 29. The story follows the story of a teenage girl in the 1990s and through to her experiences as an unemployed college grad.

Played by junior Becca Dwyer and sophomore Brooke Sax, Jane, played by sophomore Kate Dan and freshman Katie Whitehead, struggles with depression from middle school to adulthood and distracts herself by playing the popular late 1900s video game The Oregon Trail. In the game, her character also suffers through her depression when her family decides to move from Missouri to Oregon. As the characters move through life together, they learn valuable lessons about how to keep moving forward.

“This play is extremely important regarding some current topics of our generation. The play deals with topics of depression and suicide,” Dwyer said. “I think it really embodies how a person can feel with something like depression. I think it’s also really good to become aware of how something like that works and how people function due to it. It is also really important to talk about things like this and I think The Oregon Trail does a really cool interpretation.”

Cast and crew worked on the play from the week they returned from spring break all the way up until performances. Junior set designer Erika Scala worked first with director Alex Burkart to brainstorm the set, then with sophomore associate set designer Evan Roosa to come up with a concrete plan. Scala and Roosa then worked with junior construction head Toby Shu and tech directors Braden List and Bill Fisher on building the set.

“It’s really great when it all starts coming together when we can load in the set and it all gets painted and looks like we planned and it all works out,” Roosa said.

The play had two separate casts, Snakebite, directed by senior Ava Sposito, and Dysentery, directed by senior Jack Diamant, which each performed two shows. Dwyer was part of the Dysentery cast.

“Working with multiple casts is one of the coolest things you can do. Being able to play the same role as someone else is an awesome learning experience,” Dwyer said. “You can see how other people interpret certain things and overall you can see it through a whole different view. Along with that, it feels like one big family.”

See moments from the production below.