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News

Volume 65 Number 3

Teenage Dream: Encouraging students to leave their comfort zones

by Ekaterina Smith - 2014-12-18

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The 8th annual student-led production Teenage Dream was held in Laverty on Friday, December 5. This show allows for upper schoolers to write and direct scenes in a comfortable environment.

Senior Kate McEvilly was the student director, and English teacher Erin Nordlund has been the faculty advisor every year. Senior Lydia Krauss stage managed the production, and seniors Maddie Bogert, Zoe Bloomfield, Sofia Farentinos, Jake Goldstein, and Vince Memmo made up the senior leadership team.

“Teenage Dream is a forum for students to be creative and for students to do theatre who may not necessarily have the opportunity to do so. We want for all students to come together and be a part of a production, have fun, express themselves and be comfortable on stage,” McEvilly said.

Leading up to the production, McEvilly was in charge of many things. She started planning the show in March, and came up with the theme “Teenage Dream.” She has been recruiting people, getting a technical crew together, designing a program for the show, and sending out advertisements to the upper school.

Moreover, upper school theater director Mr. Williams, voice coach Mr. Bloom, and other performing arts teachers taught classes before the production. The classes were designed for students who had never written before so that they would feel more comfortable performing in the show. Particularly, they learned how to write “a beginning, middle, and an end.”

“There was one week of tech and one week of rehearsals, so [the production] was very time-intensive. It was fast and furious with a lot of fun and very worthwhile in the end,” McEvilly said.

This year, McEvilly wanted to make a change with the student production. She wanted to include more people who many not be involved with the performing arts to have a more diverse array of perspectives and involvement. In order to publicize the event, McEvilly and her staff created a google document where people could clearly see the point of the show. She also sent numerous emails and posted in the upper school Facebook conference.

“[In previous years,]there just wasn’t such a big campaign personally asking people to do it. But this year we reached out to people and made personal connections. I encourage freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to push themselves outside of their comfort zone. Even if you don’t do performing arts, it’s a really good high school experience, and you meet great people and make new friends,” McEvilly said.

McEvilly was pleased with the production and happy that Teenage Dream showcased a wide range of perspectives on stage.

“There were sad moments; there were happy moments. These emotions expressed many facets of the teenage experience, and that’s what we set out to do. Ultimately, it was the show for teens by teens about teens,” McEvilly said.


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Article Keywords:

senior, production, teenage, dream, show, upper, mcevilly, student, people, school, performing


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