Students participate in first pop-up play festival

Keila McCabe

The school hosted its first pop-up play festival March 9, in which students wrote, directed, cast and performed eight plays in a 24-hour time period.
Assistant Features Editor Zoe Redlich ’20 proposed and organized the event, with the help of Performing Arts teacher Michele Spears and Justin Park ’20.

About 30 total students participated in the festival, which included actors and writers, Redlich said.

On March 8, writers spent the night crafting their plays. Actors rehearsed March 9, and the festival culminated with performances of all the plays at 7 p.m. in Rugby Theater that night. Tickets were free, and the event was open to the entire school community.

Redlich said that she was inspired to start this initiative when she met other students who led a similar project at their school.

“I think most of the opportunities for theater at [the school] are a time commitment, and I wanted a low time commitment event for people to try new roles like director and writer,” Redlich said.

Spears said she was amazed by the talented and driven students.
“I was excited to be a part of the festival,” Spears said. “I was inspired by the creativity and the fearlessness. Everyone worked together to do the impossible.”

Event coordinator and actor Michael Lehrhoff ’20 said the festival provided a unique opportunity for students to explore performing arts and that he is looking forward to the future.

“I’m excited for next year’s festival because at its core, this festival opens opportunities for any student to express themselves through theater,” Lehrhoff said. “I’m proud that we can share our love of theater with many others in years to come.”

Redlich said she enjoyed witnessing her project come together.
“My favorite part was watching the performance and watching how excited everyone was in rehearsals,” Redlich said. “I’m really glad [the event] turned out well.”