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Creating a student-led production

A look into the next theater showcase

Spenser Johns

Staff Writer

January 31, 2023

“Clueless”- Pictured left to right, students Tatum Meadors (12), Kenny Meyers (11), Mary Gorman (10), Graham Puterbaugh (12), Rumeysa Ulusoy (12), and Emily Huss (10) run through their scene. Photo courtesy of Bradyen Billington (12).

The theater department is presenting a student-led production on February 3 called Student Scenes.

Student Scenes is a show where students get to exclusively write and direct a one-act play or scene. This production gives students the opportunity to showcase their talents and allows them to have creative freedom outside of the classroom.

“The biggest thing that makes student scenes different from other productions at Westfield High School is that they are all original, directed purely by students,” Student Director John Wickham (11) said. “They are also a lot shorter than other productions at the high school, whereas other plays and musicals last upwards of an hour and a half to two…[which] gives the directors and students a lot of freedom during rehearsals, focusing on much smaller aspects of the show rather than the big things.”

Students have been hard at work in rehearsals, bringing their scenes to life. Brayden Billington (12), who plays Mr. Boddy in the scene “Clueless,” notes how he has been preparing for the show.

“Each of the scene casts and directors take turns on rehearsal locations,” Billington said. “The rehearsals are completely student-led, with each director taking the reins and deciding whether to work on blocking, character voices, costumes— all of it.”

For the most part, the theater teachers are allowing for the production to be completely student-led, but they still stick around in case directors or actors need assistance.

“The whole thing is overseen by Mr. Grubb, who pops in occasionally for extra assistance,” Billington said. “For example, when I needed to learn how to stage fall, he helped out.”

The cast and crew hope that everyone will come out to see the show to support their classmates.

“It's important to support your friends and fellow students,” actor Ella Crites (11) said. “Also, there are a lot of really funny scenes that are sure to make you laugh.”

The cast also hopes to show the growth of the theater department and showcase the talent of students.

“People should come to student scenes,” Wickham said. “I think it’s important for Westfield to value the work and growth of the theater program, come to see original works, and enjoy a show orchestrated by their classmates.”

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