Elana Zeltser ‘13 took a bow on the same stage where her one-act play was performed by professional actors moments before.
The play “Arc,” which Zeltser wrote last year for the Playwrights Festival, was produced professionally by the Blank Theater Company in June and will be produced again at the Lyceum Theater in San Diego in February.
The play centers on a modern teenage girl, Kacey, who struggles with depression and familial difficulties. As Kacey researches about Joan of Arc for a history term paper, the time periods of the two girls collide and Kacey finds herself face-to-face with the French heroine.
“I wanted to explore different, historical themes,” Zeltser said. “At the same time, I didn’t want to go to a topic I knew nothing about, so I used some elements that were familiar to me and that I could relate to.”
Zeltser’s play was chosen to be professionally produced by the Blank Theater’s Young Playwrights Festival, a national festival with over 250 submissions. With mentoring from her father, dramaturgs, other playwrights and Performing Arts teacher Chris Moore, Zeltser edited and reedited her play for the cast and sat in on rehearsals to see her play unfold onstage.
“It was really hard seeing the first performance,” Zeltser said. “It was so nerve-wracking, but I started to enjoy listening to the audience’s reactions.”
For the Harvard-Westlake production, Marissa Chupack ’13 portrayed Kacey while Morgan St. Jean ’12 portrayed Joan of Arc.
“It was really interesting to see how just with a new cast and new people, the same play had taken an entirely different feel and mood,” Zeltser said.
Zeltser also submitted her work to the California Young Playwrights contest and received a reply in September; among the 149 scripts submitted, Zeltser’s “Arc” was one of the winning six chosen for production.
Zeltser’s “Arc” will be produced professionally for the second time by the California Playwrights Project in San Diego in February.