Posts filed under ‘Arts’

Full House Puts Students in Charge

Colton Layman

Hello.   My name is Colton and I was the student director of the Full House production of the play titled The Fearsome Pirate Frank.  Many of the WCS students saw this presentation which was about Frank, an actor in the time of William Shakespeare.  Frank was considered a star at that time, topping Shakespeare by a mile, even though he could not remember his lines for the life of him.   One night, while performing in the Fearsome Pirate Frank Show with the world famous Esmerelda Effington, Frank and his band of pirates were kidnapped by the real Pirate Frank, who of all people is a woman!   They are taken aboard her ship and are put to work.  While aboard the ship they learn about a zombie pirate ship, The Black Mark, that is haunting Captain Frank.  At then helm of the The Black Mark is none other than Ben Davies, Captain Frank’s old captain, who is out to get revenge for the “black deed” Captain Frank has done.  The play ends with an epic battle between Frank, the underdog, and Captain Ben Davies.Jan%20and%20Feb%202013%20004[2]

Directing a middle school play meant that I had to be able to work with students with varied abilities.  Some students had little to no acting or stage crew experience while others had been involved in plays before.  Going into this project, I knew I needed a plan.  I pictured the play like a puzzle, each character being a puzzle piece.  For me, when I put together a puzzle, I start with the corners.  Once the “corners” are in place, I build around them filling in the gaps.  The lead or main roles became the “corners” and the remaining characters filled in the gaps.  In all plays, there are always those actors that need help.  The “corners” of the cast were strong actors so I had them work with the kids that were less experienced or having a hard time.  I know that this helped because I saw improvement in the cast as a whole and I think because I involved everyone they were more invested in the production.

I am a perfectionist so knowing that the production would not be perfect was stressful for me.  To alleviate the stress, I tried to think about it from the perspective that if nothing can be perfect, then that means there is always room for improvement. When someone didn’t have anything to do, I would have them run lines or practice with a sword, because practicing would help them get better. I also tried to teach others to “pick up” their fellow actors when they make a mistake and move on rather than dwell on it and berate them. In watching the final production, I saw that we skipped parts of scene and lines hphoto 4ere and there, but…the actors moved the play along perfectly just the way we trained, making the play look fine to the audience.

Overall, directing the play was a blast and I would do it again in a heartbeat. In the end, my cast came together and produced a wonderful show. There is something addicting about directing…once you direct one, you want to do it again. I would definitely enjoy directing another show if the opportunity presents itself. I would also encourage anyone who likes acting to give it a try. It will give you a different perspective and possibly make you a better actor.

March 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm 4 comments

Full House’s Play: Tune Into Murder

Laura Durkee & Jenna Caminiti


Full House put on a production of the play “Tune Into Murder” in March. As student directors, Jenna and Laura took the whole production into their hands. They had some help from teachers along the way, but the play was run by the students of Full House. Being the directors was not as easy as it seemed for Jenna and Laura. Jenna said, “The kids were very cooperative, but I found it hard to bring the students out of their comfort zones.” Laura stated, “I was expecting everyone to go through the scenes in a snap, but I realized that I would have to put a lot of work in to make the production happen.”

The plot of the story was not simple. There were many unexpected encounters and cliff hangers. In the play, there is a wide variety of guests staying at the restful resort, Four Seasons Lodge. The owner of the resort, Nora Scott, is being pestered by her neighbour, Sid Templeton, to sell her half of the island. Meanwhile, Nora’s niece, Diane, is having relationship problems with her boyfriend who hosts a radio show called Night W.R.A.P. with Clay Davis. With all of the hubbub going on, a guest unexpectedly dies causing the guests to believe there is a murders at Four Season Lodge. Next, another guest goes missing, the Countess, leaving behind a blood stained scarf. After being inaccurately accused, the handyman is taken for investigation. Meanwhile the maid, Elizabeth, is missing and the medium who is staying at the lodge holds a seance to contact the Countess. The Countess says that if the guests do not find Elizabeth soon, she sees the handyman “plunge a knife into her”. In the end, the medium and Countess were working for a criminal who had hired them to kill Elizabeth and the handyman was an FBI agent protecting the maid. Diane and Clay look to have a bright future ahead of them and Mr. Templeton sold his half of the island to a zoo. It is a happy ending.

In the play, many students took on large responsibilities besides the directors and stage managers. One was Loran Stearns. Loran was part of Laura’s cast and this is what Laura said about the responsibility Loran took on, “Loran was a big help. She had one of the main roles and was definitely a leader. She was a role model for the younger student. When I needed to do something, I left her in charge because I knew she would stay on task and benefit the whole cast.” In Jenna’s cast, Colton Layman took on a large role. Even though his part was small, that did not stop him. Jenna mentioned this, “Colton was a big help. He was only in about two scenes, so he had a lot of time on his hands. Instead of waiting in the crowd like most of the students, he took this open opportunity and helped stage crew.”

Overall, the students told the teachers that they had a wonderful time producing the play. Loran Stearns said, “That having new experiences with new people from Full House broadened her outlook on her eighth grade year.” Another student who was a stage manager, Tashia Pashby-Rockwood said, “The production night was definitely the best part. It showed that a group of determined kids can get something done.” Kyle Burns who played a famous medium and brought the play alive said, “My favorite part was being able to act like a goofball on stage.”

Overall, the play positively impacted the house. It created new bonds, brought confidence out in people, and made a very nice production.

June 14, 2012 at 10:55 am Leave a comment


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