'The Container' Opens the Lid on Immigration


“The Container,” a play by Clare Bayley, is the first production of the  year for the TFMS Department (Theater, Film, and Media Studies). The play follows five immigrants from Africa and the Middle East who are travelling in a shipping container on the back of a truck to be smuggled into England. These immigrants don’t know if they can trust each other or the man that is helping them into England, referred to only as “The Agent.” This intense and unique play will captivate the audience from the beginning.

TFMS professor, Michael Ellis Tolaydo and junior Madaline Barry are co-directing The Container. The play only features six characters and can only be performed for 25 audience members at a time so the play is double-casted. Two casts allows for more student involvement and allows for more shows.
The first cast consists of Allegra Grant as Fatima, Joe Lignelli as Ahmad, Emily Maginnis as Miriam, Jazzie O. Gray as Asha, and Christopher Joyce as “The Agent.” The other cast for the play features Ebony Squire as Fatima, Liz Porter as Ahmad, Layla Tamer as Asha, Abby Doyle as Miriam, Jemarc-Van  Axinto as Jemal, and Gilligan as “The Agent.”

First year, Emily Maginnis who plays the character Miriam, says that this is “only second drama I’ve ever been in, and since the audience is so up close and personal it makes the experience so real. It’s so intimate which makes the experience terrifying but also incredibly exciting. You can truly become the character instead of just acting as the character.”
Sophomore Abby Doyle, Maginnis’ counterpart in the second cast, applauds the efforts of the entire cast and crew. She says that the play “touches on some very serious topics and [she] wants to make sure [she] honors those who have been affected in real life through the actions of Mariam.” The entire cast conveys excitement about the approaching show.

Junior Allegra Grant, who plays the character of Fatima, encourages the campus community to see The Container. She says “This play is so interesting and deals with problems that many people want to ignore, particularly in regards to illegal immigration and general human rights.”

Also involved with this production are the stage manager, Hannah Sturum, and her two assistant stage managers; Christopher Gore and Genevive Dubroof. Dubroof says that “this is an incredible play and the characters and extremely deep.” When asked about the success watching the two casts, Dubroof says that “both casts do an incredible job at mastering the layers of the characters and creating intense emotions that focus the play.” She also says she couldn’t be happier to be a member of this production.

The show is to be preformed Oct. 24-27 and Oct. 31-Nov. 3. There will be two shows on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7pm and 9pm and only one show on Sundays at 2pm. Both casts will perform each Thursday, Friday and Saturday and the casts alternate on each of the Sundays.

The play will take place at the Bruce Davis Theater in Montgomery Hall. At the time of printing, all shows are sold out. To reserve a spot on the waiting list, call 240-895-4243 or email boxoffice@smcm.edu.