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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Theater Seniors Flip Script For Senior Directed Play Series

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  • Seated for supper, the cast of ‘Cafe Murder” poses for a picture. Half of the show was based on improvised answers to audience questions, meaning the show changed every night.

    George Franco
  • Posing before their final show, the cast of ‘Greek Olympiaganza’ stands on their set. In a fast-paced ensemble show, the actors performed modern retellings of famous scenes from Greek mythology.

    George Franco
  • Embodying their characters, the cast of ‘Clue’ poses for a picture during their tech rehearsal. Based on the 1985 film of the same name, the show tells a classic tale of murder and deception.

    George Franco
  • Smiling in stage blacks, the technical crew smiles as an ensemble. Technical roles in the show ranged from run-crew to operating sound and lights in the booth.

    George Franco
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Three entirely student-led senior-directed shows marked the final productions of the 2024 theater season on Thursday, May 2 and Friday, May 3 in the Big Black Box. The three plays – Café Murder, Greek Olympiaganza, and Clue were each directed by a different team of directors and featured casts of primarily underclassmen.

The senior-directed shows are a longstanding tradition within the theater program. They are a crucial opportunity for seniors to take the helm, while also providing a chance for many freshmen and sophomores to perform. Many underclassmen don’t have that opportunity prior in the year, due to casts of mainly upperclassmen.

“[Senior-directed was really cool,” performer Sophia Nikazm ‘27 said. “Because this is my first Westwood show, [the seniors] taught us all the traditions and they were really welcoming.”

“Because this is my first Westwood show, [the seniors] taught us all the traditions and they were really welcoming.”

— Nikazm

Additionally, the student-led productions created an especially collaborative creative environment, where the directors and actors worked together to develop the production aspects of the show.

“It feels less like you’re intimidated by the directors, and more like you’re just a group of friends working together,” actor Koen Keene ‘27, who performed in Greek Olympiaganza, said. “Especially for my cast, [because] everybody in my cast I had known previously, and we’re all close friends. We all pitched in different ideas; if an actor had an idea, both the directors would take it into account to see if it would work.”

For the directors, the plays allow them to meet and work with most of the underclassmen in the program, and pass along knowledge and excitement for theater.

“My entire cast and crew [are] comprised of the swaggiest and most talented people I’ve ever met,” director Emily Rose ‘24 said. “The actors came to rehearsal every day with so much energy and they killed it.”

Each production also had its own individual challenges. For Café Murder, almost half the show relied on improvised responses to audience questions, meaning the performers and directors had to conquer the skill of improv as well.

“We spent a lot of time playing improv games,” Nikazm said. “We would go over the questions and try to come up with different answers each time. I hadn’t done an improv show before, so that was a cool experience.”

Overall, the senior-directed play series brought the Westwood theater season to a close with three collaborative productions focused on discovering and developing the younger generation of performers and technicians.

“I loved working on senior-directed so much,” Rose said. “It was one of the best experiences I’ve had at Westwood Theater.”

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About the Contributor
Sabrina Kim
Sabrina Kim, Heritage Section Editor
Class of 2025 I’ve been obsessed with writing for as long as I’ve been retaining memories, and I’m unbelievably excited to get to write for the Horizon and work for the Heritage. I’m almost as—if not equally—enthusiastic about design, speculative fiction, traditional and digital art, playing guitar, volleyball, crocheting and knitting, consuming every kind of food and drink, learning languages, crosswords, having unreasonably strong opinions about everything, and Westwood Theatre, in no particular order. Some might say I do too much. They’re probably right.

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  • R

    Rayghen PeakMay 21, 2024 at 11:44 am

    I can’t believe I missed the senior-directed plays. They must’ve been so fun to watch.

    Reply
  • A

    Ayesha ShahzadMay 21, 2024 at 11:35 am

    This article refers to the leaving seniors in theater leaving an impact for the new upcoming theater stars. The article talks about how it was a “crucial opportunity for seniors to take the helm, while also providing a chance for many freshmen and sophomores to perform.” I like how it signified its importance.

    Reply