Seniors Mallory Randolph and Carter Smith have enjoyed working with theater throughout their high school years, but now, not only are they in theater, they’re leading it.
“When I was little, I saw the same show performed, and that’s when I decided that I wanted to do this show at some point,” Randolph said. “It’s a story about the Challenger spaceship explosion, focusing on the teacher and [her] daughter and their relationships as well as some of the people who are close to them.”
Defying Gravity, directed by Randolph and Smith, will be performed as part of theater’s annual senior directed plays from May 19-20, alongside Machinal, directed by Avery Neale, and Wonders of the World, directed by JP Lay and Cadence Thomasson.
“I’m focusing on one right now with my friend Avery,” junior Flynn Davis said. “It’s like a drama about this woman and her husband and they’re messy marriage and stuff like that. I’m looking at helping the directors with tech stuff. I’ll be kind of like an assistant director for some of them, but I’m gonna bounce around, just help around wherever I can.”
All senior directors came together after auditions to find who was best fit for each role, making sure no casting conflicts arose in the process.
“I would say like 35 [auditioned],” sophomore Kate Hanson said. “All the casting and all the things are done by the students. The directors don’t actually do too much.”
According to Davis, senior directed plays also give opportunities to those looking to act on-stage for the first time.
“I like theater, so I want to audition to be in a production again,” junior Sanja Prabhu said. “[Before], I’ve played a lot of background characters like extras [and] I’m totally excited.”
Though all seniors in the program were welcome to apply, theater directors Jay Asterman and Megan Thompson narrowed the list down to a select few.
“We had a meeting with them,” Smith said. “We had to write an analysis about the play, description of it, setting, all that stuff. They also asked just like, what the story was. [There’s] very close relationships between characters, and I feel like relationships like that can be looked at as relatable.”