WPHS Fall Drama – Self Reflection: A Series


Alaina Pagulayan, School News Editor

The 2020-2021 school year has been anything but normal and with the addition of new protocols and restrictions, this change has not been easy. School has administered on-and-off distance learning and while they have tried to maintain activities as we knew them before, it seems almost impossible amidst the pandemic. Every school year, the WPHS Theatre puts on a Fall Drama that students, faculty, and family come to watch. The circumstances for this year’s show changed this production immensely to the point where we questioned if it would even happen. It’s a common theatre saying that “the show must go on!”… but would it really?

The answer to this became clear when Mr. Warren and Ms. Fanelli, the directors of the Fall Drama hosted an interest meeting that took place on September 16. During that meeting, students interested in participating in either the cast or crew learned about how this show would be one like no other ever put on in the past. Due to the restrictions that came with the recent pandemic, students couldn’t interact with one another in-person, they couldn’t use the same props, and a performance inside was pretty much out of the question. With this in mind, it was unclear how they were supposed to put on a show, knowing that whatever happened would be a challenge.

Any play that required characters to interact to display some kind of plot was not allowed, so actors would have the chance this year to perform their own monologue and challenge themselves by taking up their own character. Rehearsals  began virtually, and eventually actors were lucky enough to be able to meet in person with directors for rehearsal at the school. The cast members had to memorize their monologues, spend time getting their expressions just right, and get their nerves prepared to be performed in front of an audience. Crew members met during tech week to practice the movement of props and to put the stage outside where the drama would be viewed.

With planning and preparation in motion, a date for the drama was set and the theatre department was quick to advertise for a school event the public was excited to attend. There were morning announcements, emails, and students and teachers prompting others to come out and safely see the show. Tickets sold online for $7 and the show dates were Friday October 23 and Saturday October 24, each starting at 6:30 PM. 

After hours of practice spent memorizing their lines and perfecting their expressions, the night finally came for the cast, crew, and directors to perform a show unlike any other produced by WPHS. Dozens of people had bought tickets and showed up to watch their friends, children, grandchildren and siblings display their emotions on stage and take them through an experience like no other. Advised to bring warm clothing and chairs and required to wear masks, the audience sat outside on the grass in designated circles to follow the protocol for social distancing. Backstage, cast and crew members got ready to perform while Mr. Warren introduced the production of Self Reflection: A Series.

The show itself consisted of students speaking their own monologues, making the audience listen intently as the actors made them, laugh, tear up, and smile so largely that the chilly weather was quickly forgotten. Microphones lining the front of the stage were helpful in making sure the audience could clearly hear the emotion crack through the voices of actors, and the lighting provided better visualization of every expression made and the crew’s change of props and stage turns look seamless. At the end of every monologue was loud applause for an amazing performance and the intermission was a chance for the audience to stretch their legs, talk amongst themselves, and send messages to members of the show. By the end of the drama, bows were put on and applause was all anyone could hear. 

Despite the conditions they had to work through, the WPHS Theatre department pulled off a great show and it was an awesome experience to be able to see. It was nice that students could come see their friends perform and gain some sense of normalcy in being able to participate in and attend an annual school event. We appreciate the endless hard work from the school board, directors, cast and crew to put on a show that may not have happened if it weren’t for their perseverance and dedication. Impressed and grateful for the Fall Drama, we cannot wait to see what the future holds for the WPHS theatre next.