Theatre department prepares for UIL, looks to the future

Nikki Humble

The theatre department is at it again. Last semester it wowed with its productions of “The Red Herring” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” This semester it’s directing its efforts towards their UIL One Act piece “The 39 Steps” before moving on to the senior-directed one acts to cap off the year.

“It’s a spy, comedy-thriller, based off of a Hitchcock movie,” theatre teacher Meredith Yanchak said. “It’s funny. You wouldn’t think it’s funny, but I think it’s funny. It involves a lot of physical comedy, like jumping around and running around on stage, and we have to stage a train chase and a plane crash and a car chase all on stage in 40 minutes.”

This is Yanchak’s first year as the head of the theatre department, and this year she brought with her some small but impactful changes.

“Historically at [UIL] contest these students do dramas,” she explained. “So I picked something totally different than what they’ve done in the past. I feel really good about comedy.”
This feeling of change is not unappreciated by her students.

“We do a lot more [this year],” junior Elyse Barber explained. “We’re a lot more prepared in class, we do a lot of exercises and [Yanchak] brings us together as a team.”
However, Yanchak said she feels that the best way to approach the continuity of her change is to turn a blind eye to her predecessors.

“I don’t know what was here before,” she said. “I just need to know what I’m doing right now, I want to look to the future and not to the past.”

To see them in all their glory before heading off to competition, catch the department members perform at 7:30 pm on March 13 in the Westlake Performing Arts Center.