The Snow Ball

Winter comes early in Pomfret’s fall theater production.

Pomfret thespians brought the show — and the snow — to Hard Auditorium with the fall production of A.R. Gurney’s The Snow Ball. Set in the present day and with flashbacks to the 1960s, the story follows the life of Cooper Jones, played by Jake Trust ’23, who is in a dead-end job and failing marriage to his wife Liz, played by Rhys Price ’24. Cooper is living in the past, continuously reminiscing about the good old days when he was a teenager in ballroom dance class, where he first met Liz. He reunites with another dance class partner, Lucy, played by Elva Qi ’24, who is determined to revive the signature event of the winter season, the snow ball. The two are adamant about bringing back the holiday event. Liz’s continual disdain for the snow ball reunion event and single-minded focus on fighting homelessness leads Cooper to find comfort in Lucy’s arms, and the two have an affair.  

The main feature of the return of the snow ball is the reuniting of the bygone dream couple Jack Daley and Kitty Price, played by Eric Wang ’26 and Emma Lian ’24. The 60s “it” couple met in dance class, were crowned the king and queen of the ball, and lost touch after the dance. Jack is still as ambitious as he was back in the 60s when he was a working-class boy who paid his way into dance classes. Now, he is a politician struggling for the governorship of Indiana. Kitty, on the other hand, is on her third marriage and battling cancer. The big event, which was almost canceled because of a snowstorm, brought clarity and healing. Jack and Kitty got their chance to say their goodbyes. Cooper and Liz put aside their strife and are determined to have a loving marriage once again.  

The entire cast did a wonderful job bringing this challenging production to the stage. The ballroom dancing was not something that most of today’s Pomfret students are familiar with, but they glided across the stage with ease thanks to waltz and swing lessons from Ballroom Dance Instructor Kelly Wybieracki. The wardrobe, by Costumer Elizabeth Jacquet, was intricate, with sixty costume changes that helped the audience recognize the difference between the modern-day and 1960s time periods. Strategic lighting was another technique used to help illuminate the difference between a flashback and the present. 

Jake Trust ’23 served as the narrator as well as the main character, Cooper, and used the technique of direct audience address to explain the events and recall his memories to help the viewer better understand key points in the storyline. “I think the narrating from Cooper’s point of view made him a likable character, even though he cheated on his wife,” explains Jake. “I enjoyed the large monologues because there was so much nuance and emotion to convey to the audience. And it's so eloquently worded. I enjoyed performing that part.”

The Snow Ball forces the audience to use their imagination to see characters in different periods of their life, sometimes within the same scene,” says Theater Director Chip Lamb. “I thought the challenge was worthy of giving to our actors, and they handled that really well.” 

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