4 alums act, direct, light new play

By Mary Rose Fissinger

An alumni-directed play opening Friday night and running through October stars two alumni who are now faculty. A fourth is handling the lighting.

Upper school English teacher Adam Howard ’93, middle school history teacher Isaac Laskin ’98, and alums Dan Fishbach ’94 and Will Adashek ’01 are working together on Nicky Silver’s “The Maiden’s Prayer.”

“Essentially, the play examines the inter-relationships of five complex individuals — siblings, life-long friends, spouses, new friends, ex-lovers — all in search of ideal love.  The main action ranges from quirky comedy to varying losses that exist on a pretty epic scale,” Howard said.

Howard has acted with Fishbach in several shows at Harvard-Westlake (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Hair” and “Gypsy”) and at Kenyon College, where they both were undergrads. After college, Fishbach decided to switch his attention to directing.


“I tried briefly to make it as an actor, with minor success.  I realized that my interest and arguably my talent was directing,” Fishbach said.  

Fishbach directed Howard in “Private Eyes,” at the end of last summer.

“We enjoyed working together and decided to collaborate on another production,” Howard said.

“When I heard that Adam and Dan were putting up a play, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it,” Laskin said. Fishbach directed Laskin in a one-act play as a part of Ted Walch’s Summer Intensive Acting Workshop in 1999.   

Laskin was involved in performing arts when he was a student at Harvard-Westlake.

“The first show I ever did was called ‘The Diviners,’” which they are actually doing again this year at the middle school, when I was in ninth grade.  Once I moved on to the Upper School I kept at it, doing six shows in my three years there.  I was exceptionally lucky to have gotten to work with Ted Walch, who remains to this day the finest acting teacher I have ever had,” Laskin said.

Laskin has returned to the campus recently – this time as a history teacher. He is filling in for Rosemary Van Vlijmen, teaching seventh and ninth grade history.

“It’s very cool to get to experience Harvard-Westlake from a teacher’s perspective.  It has made me appreciate just how hard my teachers worked… how dedicated they were to my educational experience,” Laskin said. 

Along with actors Howard and Laskin and director Fishbach, Adashek is the lighting designer. He was involved in the technical aspects of shows in high school.