Student-Directed Showcase presents comedies, dramas under seniors’ direction

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Nicole Tian

Sarah Raymond (10), who plays the character Miriam, shows a bag to Lisa Barooah (10), playing Olivia, and Joel Morel (11), playing Cody. In “And Action,” Miriam is a high schooler who plays a French villain in her friend’s movie.

by Jessie Wang, Reporter

This year’s four Student-Directed Showcase (SDS) shows, directed by seniors Dilara Ezer, Emmy Huchley, Ellie Lang-Ree, and Neha Premkumar, were performed last Friday and Saturday in the Patil Theater.

SDS is an annual project of the upper school’s Conservatory program, giving four seniors the chance to cast and direct a play of their choice. Emmy directed “And Action,” written by Eleanor Burgess, about a group of high school students trying to film a heist movie. Neha’s play “26 Pebbles,” written by Eric Ulloa, portrayed the town of Newtown, Connecticut, recovering after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

After an intermission came Ellie’s play, “Stop Kiss” by Diana Son, about two women in New York City who fall in love but face a hate crime. Each night ended with “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged),” a play about a troupe of actors trying to perform every work by Shakespeare, directed by Dilara and written by by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield.

Directing (has) been the opportunity for me to actually put things into play.”

— Emmy Huchley (12), SDS director

Each show provided its director with the chance to put her own visions and ideas onto the stage.

“I’ve been in a lot of shows as an actor, and directing is really different, but I like it a lot,” Emmy said. “When I’m acting in a show, of course I have ideas about what I would do if I was directing it, but directing [has] been the opportunity for me to actually put things into play. It’s been really cool.”

For Austin Killam (10), SDS was a valuable learning experience, allowing him to familiarize himself with a style of acting he was less familiar with.

“This year was [only] the second time I’ve done a show where I really looked in depth into my character, where I really thought about who they were as a person,” Austin, who plays Daniel in “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)”, said. “I’m a personal believer [that] no matter who you’re playing, there is always something deeper to a person. So trying to figure out the internal workings of my character has definitely been a highlight.”

The shows brought together the various casts, which started rehearsing in early November.

“There’s this camaraderie that builds between the cast members, and it’s a really strong bond,” Simar Bajaj (11), who plays the Rabbi in “26 Pebbles,” said. “Even when doing such a show as ‘26 Pebbles,’ you have fun with your cast doing the show, performing the show.”

Tickets were $8 for students,  and sold starting Tuesday, both in front of Manzanita and online at tiny.cc/sds2019.

“[The show is] a roller coaster, and it ends on an all time high,” Simar said.