It is no secret that “Euphoria” is one wildly bold trip. Between Rue’s (Zendaya) ridiculous police chase to prepubescent Ashtray (Javon Walton) having a bullet-riddled showdown with a SWAT crew, the strains between actuality and fantasy typically get blurred within the sequence. However Lexi’s (Maude Apatow) true-life-inspired play, “Our Life” (primarily based on the actor’s highschool play that she produced in real life), is the present’s greatest inventive effort but. And in true “Euphoria” style, all the things in regards to the manufacturing is manner excessive. The playwright prodigy had us scratching our heads through the ultimate two episodes of season two with the entire play’s elaborate surroundings and expensive props. So, after all, the large query: what on the earth was Lexi’s price range?!
We tapped a former highschool theater director to resolve the thriller and a few much-needed perspective. Timothy Cheeseman — a poet laureate and former English instructor who directed Shawnee Excessive College’s theater program from 1997 to 2018 — is just not an avid viewer of “Euphoria,” however his 22 years of expertise deliver readability to what appears absurd in Lexi’s play. Although he notes that almost all excessive colleges within the US sometimes run theater applications the identical manner, there are a couple of outliers that exist in very distinct areas — and “Euphoria”‘s East Highland could also be one in all them.
This system Cheeseman led at his prosperous suburban highschool in Lima, OH, was “very self-sufficient” when it got here to funding. “Typically we had cash, and generally we did not,” Cheeseman tells POPSUGAR of his earlier productions. “You are piecing collectively outfits from anyplace you will get them, and we constructed all of our units ourselves.” He provides that, in his expertise, he and his crew have been additionally accountable for paying for practically all the things themselves by fundraising for every play — which included protecting prices for ticket gross sales, promotions, costumes, units, and props. And nothing moved with out first submitting an official price range sheet. “Excessive colleges are extremely technically organized,” Cheeseman explains. “I needed to put forth a price range yearly that the college authorized, and I needed to do all of the file preserving of monies, the place I introduced it in, and what I spent it on.”
“No, I do not assume [Lexi’s play’s budget] is life like in any respect, however I additionally assume that is okay.”
From what we see of Lexi’s manufacturing, its intricate particulars make it onerous to imagine her faculty financed the entire thing — particularly because it seems East Highland is a public faculty. And at no level does it look like a price range is Lexi’s concern. So how did she afford to supply one thing so extravagant?
The greenback quantity continues to be unclear, however “Euphoria”‘s manufacturing designer, Jason Baldwin Stewart, did make clear why the play resembled a Broadway-level manufacturing. “We threw out the principles of preserving the set at a high-school degree,” he told Vulture. “It was extra fascinating to simply see what we might do.” Director of pictures Marcell Rév additionally provides that the play is not meant to be primarily based in realism, however as an alternative to function a mirrored image of what highschool college students envision after they placed on performs — one thing Cheeseman echoes as properly. “No, I do not assume [Lexi’s play’s budget] is life like in any respect, however I additionally assume that is okay,” he says. “I feel for the youngsters, that is how they see it. They completely assume [plays] are lavish and if you happen to do it proper, because the director and instructor, they assume it is polished and fantastic. They sense the glamour and manufacturing of the entire expertise, they usually keep in mind it for his or her complete lives.”
Funds apart, there’s one other unbelievable facet about Lexi’s play that has viewers puzzled: how did she make time to put in writing a complete play, produce it, and memorize strains to star in it? Properly, the reply is definitely extra complicated than you’d assume. For one, in comparison with the opposite characters on “Euphoria,” Lexi typically fades to the background within the present, observing the drama of her friends relatively than partaking in it. Since she stays out of the best way, it’d make sense for her to have additional free time outdoors of her research to work on her play. But additionally, Lexi’s knack for recalling a few of her most vivid reminiscences virtually phrase for phrase proves that she has unbelievable instincts and pays shut consideration to particulars. So her expertise is by no means uncommon for presented college students who’ve the power to tug off large productions like this.
“Adolescents and college students are able to a lot greater than the precise establishments give them credit score for.”
“The actual reply is there aren’t many college students who’re able to that, by each dedication and talent,” Cheeseman explains. “[At my school], we did some student-written productions, so it isn’t unusual for top colleges to try this. However we did them at all times in kind of small one-act issues.” It actually looks as if Lexi’s play lasts for much longer than your common highschool manufacturing, in order that facet nonetheless raises a couple of eyebrows. Nonetheless, within the grand scheme of issues, her play falls consistent with “Euphoria”‘s imaginative plot. Lexi’s abilities should not be underestimated or underscored, regardless of how far-fetched her manufacturing seems to be. “Adolescents and college students are able to a lot greater than the precise establishments give them credit score for,” Cheeseman concludes. “We merely should not ignore the truth that college students are in a position to try this and are able to it.”