Theater at WMS: Student-Written Productions

Student actors became student writers when a series of student-authored plays were performed during last weekend’s theater night!
Last weekend, WMS presented its second theatrical production of the year to a post-Fall Sports Awards crowd. It was the usual collection of fun, witty performances by our students, from both the Introduction to Theater class and Theater as a sport, but there was an added twist that night: of the four plays performed, three were written by the students themselves.

Kristin Yang is one such student playwright. Her play, Reversal of Fortune, was written during her Writing For Performance: Exploration of Performing Arts field course last fall. The story concerns Maxine, a woman who discovers her husband has had an affair with her best friend, and invites them both to a confrontation over coffee. Darkly funny and deliciously deadpan, the play was inspired by “real life. It is so common to see husbands have affairs nowadays. So this idea popped into my head immediately, and I decided to write a play about it.”

About the experience of seeing her play transformed into a full-scale production, Kristin said, “I never thought that I would write a play or even make it come together as a full production. I feel excited and happy. It really surprised me when I knew we are going to perform my play. It was also a suggestion that a student came out with. It was just too amazing. Although I know this is my first time to write a play and make it become a full production, and I know there must be some deficiencies, I am having fun as the writer and director. I want others can have fun and enjoy it too.”

The other two plays were collaborative efforts by Rachel Spector’s Introduction to Theater class. The first, Trouble in the Classroom, spotlights an unruly classroom filled with quirky kids who really, really don’t want to talk about English. The second, Botched Surgery, follows a crowd of inexperienced surgeons and one fainting medical student through surgery gone horribly awry. Rachel Spector described the process:

“The students were divided into two groups which I assigned. Each group had the task of writing a script that was about ten minutes long. They were allowed to write about anything, as long as it was appropriate. Everyone was required to have a least a couple of lines in his or her scene. The students had class time to work together and with me, and then they were assigned this for homework as well. Once they wrote the scripts, we did a read through, and we all made helpful suggestions. Then we did another read through after each group incorporated the various suggestions.”

We’re so happy to have given students the opportunity to not only write their own productions, but show their creative efforts off in front of their peers.

Pictures from the Productions!

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