The plan was Waterford High was not going to have any drama this fall. The auditorium was under construction and unavailable and WATERFORDrama Director Shane Valle was supposed to be on a yearlong leave of absence, with a new director not expected to be hired until November.
Well, Waterford High School’s dedicated drama following just couldn’t follow that plan.
Instead, seniors banned together to form Lancer Theatre Productions and decided they would put together a show of their own. Tonight will be the first showing of that show, entitled “” featuring seven one-act plays.
Students have written all the plays, directed all the plays and students will perform the plays.
“It is really like a family,” Senior Weston Long said, discussing the group of dedicated Waterford drama students who formed Lancer Theatre Productions. “We know that we are all working together and supporting each other with this goal.”
A Knight at the Theater runs tonight and Saturday at 7:30 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and features seven one-act plays. Admission is $5.
In September, a group of Waterford seniors and longtime WATERFORDrama members asked if they could put on a play themselves, Long said. It began with a request for plays, and 24 students submitted scripts, according to senior Josh Kelly, who is directing one of the plays.
Eleven seniors serving as directors whittled those 24 plays down to seven. Four of the plays will be co-directed and three will be directed by just one person, Kelly said.
In the first week of October, the group held auditions, where 35 students tried out, Kelly said. Twenty-one students were selected as actors, and the group has been rehearsing for the six weeks since, Kelly said.
Without the auditorium, students have been rehearsing in teacher’s classrooms or at their homes, Long said. Teachers and Principal Don Macrino were all supportive of the performance and allowed them rooms if they need them, he said.
“We’ve had so much great support,” Long said.
The hard part then became finding a place to hold the performance, Kelly said. After some phone calls, the Eugene O’Neill agreed to let the students hold the performance at their theater, he said.
“They were very accommodating,” Kelly said. “They really wanted to help out.”
The group has already sold 90 advance tickets to both performances, which is what they were planning to sell, Kelly said. There is room for another 50 people to buy tickets at the door, he said.
Part of the money raised from ticket sales will be donated to the Eugene O’Neill Theater, Kelly said. The rest will be given to the WATERFORDrama scholarship fund, he said.
For some of the students, like Long, it was their first time directing a play. Also, planning an event like this proved to have many obstacles, but ultimately it should come out okay, Kelly said.
“It is so much more than I ever thought it was,” Long said. “I think it was a great experience for me.”