Student-directed plays to debut Thursday

On May 3-4 at 6:30 p.m. and May 5 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theater, the theater department is continuing the tradition of student-directed one act plays. This gives students the opportunity to see the other side of plays, and work solely with fellow students.

“The seniors that are directing this year were freshmen when I first arrived at Westlake, so they all learned about Student Directs, and the way Westlake did them, at the same time I was learning about them,” theater teacher Meredith Yanchak said. “It changed over the course of four years, how we did things and what we did. So they’ve been here for that entire journey. To them, this is almost the end of their high school journey before they go off to do the great things that they’re going to do. This is special to all of us and more than just a grade.”

This year Caleb Dukes, a senior director, decided to write his own play called “Virginia.” “Virginia” is based on his great grandmother, Virginia Ethel Littlepage Beever Little. He started writing the play during finals last year after his great grandmother had passed during his spring break. He wrote it in memory of her life.

“Come see “Virginia” — it’s very meaningful, and I won an award at TETA Playfest for it,” Caleb said. “I’m very proud of what I’ve done to honor my great grandmother.”

Seniors direct the plays while all other students are welcome to audition to be in one. There are six groups this year. This gives a good opportunity for people with less acting experience to get roles. They get to see how plays are directed at Westlake, and meet older theater students.

“I’ve been in theater all four years, and I’ve done student directs all four years,” senior Lauren Hewell said.  “It’s my favorite part of all the shows. It’s something that you can own, and something that everyone can make their own.”