One Last Shine: Westwood Theater Captures Audiences With Senior-Directed Plays

The+stars+of+The+Complete+Works+of+William+Shakespeare%2C+abridged+act+out+a+comedic+scene+on+stage.

Photo By Evan Martinez

The stars of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, abridged” act out a comedic scene on stage.

By Oliver Barnfield, Video Editor

On Thursday, April 28 and Friday, April 29, Westwood Theater presented three senior-directed shows starring primarily freshmen and sophomores. Presented at Canyon Vista Middle School, these shows provided many unique theater perspectives for the actors, directors, and audience members alike. 

The first show, performed only on the 28th, was the heartwarming For Every Thank You I Never Said, directed by E Damuth ‘22 and Andrew Rose ‘22, based on an original script by Damuth. The show was about the importance of thanking and being grateful to teachers, and many of the teachers, of whom the show was written about, attended the performance. Sabrina Kim ‘24 played one of the lead characters, a sympathetic student named Raven. 

“My senior-directed show was really unique, since it was written by our director, E,” Kim said. “We had a lot of fun at rehearsals and even though the experience was quite different from other shows I’ve done in the past, I think we ended up making something pretty cool and really heartfelt. All my castmates are wildly cool people so at the end of the day, I really enjoyed it.”

The only show to perform both days was a production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged, directed by Cait Lackowski ‘22 and Juliana Johnson ‘22. A fast-paced and comedic condensation of the Bard’s most well-known works, the show had the audience erupting into fits of laughter. Interestingly, the show made use of only three actors, all freshmen. Vince Pham, Polly Nickens, and Connor Wormington. Each played multiple roles and had plenty to do on stage, from long monologues to dextrous physical comedy. 

“It has been an incredible gift to act in a leading role under the excellent direction of Juliana and Cait,” Nickens said. “Connor, Vince, and I collaborated really well. With such a short time to put this show together, we made the most of every rehearsal and I really believe it showed in our performance. Overall, this experience reminded me of how much I love performing. This has been the best way to end my freshman year of high school.”

Performed only on Friday was the intriguing The Butterfly’s Evil Spell, directed by Sophie Steinhauser ‘22 and Sophie Clift ‘22. The story centers around several bug characters who experience love, death, and religion in their own unique buggy world. 

“The senior-directed shows were an amazing way to close out my theater career at Westwood,” Clift said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better cast, crew, or co-director. Directing this big of a show was stressful, time-consuming, and so unbelievably rewarding. I would 100% do it all over again.”