Weston Drama Club production brings fun and liveliness to the stage
From an evil teacher turning into an apple to another mysterious teacher hypnotizing a student with a pickle, this year’s winter play explored children’s stories with laughs and silliness. On February 28 and March 1, the Weston Drama Club performed the play Sideways Stories from Wayside School, adapted by the playwright John Olive from the children’s novels by Louis Sachar.
English teacher and drama director Anne Slotnick commented on the distinctiveness of the play in relation to the other productions this year.
“I chose Sideways Stories because Dark of the Moon and Fiddler on the Roof were more darker stories, and I wanted a more family-friendly play that was aimed more for kids… really to balance the rest of the season,” Slotnick expressed.
The play was a 45-minute one-act performance, with 18 students cast and another 12 students on the crew. It was packed with jokes, laughs, and exaggerated enthusiasm from the actors, many who played the parts of 8-year-old students.
“The best part was how fun it was to play the part of an 8-year-old,” junior Ryan Aldrich, who played the role of Rhondi, said. “We all knew our lines so well that we could play around with how we talked and our physicality.”
The lightheartedness of the show, as well as the bright, colorful set built by the crew attracted many families and children.
Slotnick reflected on her surprise with the audience, specifically with the kids.
“I wasn’t expecting that there would be so many kids in the audience who were inspired and really wanting to be up on stage with the cast. I heard some kids saying that they wanted to be in the play. That was a fun, unintended consequence,” Slotnick said.
Freshman Tally Zeller, who saw the first show of the play, reflected on her experience as an audience member.
“I remember reading those books with the same stories in 4th grade,” Zeller said. “Watching the play was like deja vu, and I really enjoyed the fun experience all over again.”
Much enthusiasm was also received during the cast and crew performance on March 3, where they participated in the drama festival in Hanover. Other high schools competed and cheered for the drama club, while judges critiqued the cast and crew. Slotnick expressed her positive time at this festival.
“I was really pleased with the final outcome. Watching the cast and crew perform at festival was one of my favorite moments as a director so far.”