Middle school students debuted the first theatrical performance of the 2023-24 school year with two magical performances of “A Wrinkle In Time” on Friday, November 10.
The iconic science fantasy piece tells the story of three adolescents who embark on a journey through space and time looking for a lost family member. Themes of family, good against evil, personal maturity, and forgiveness resonated with many students. To accommodate the student interest, Performing Arts teacher and Director Amy Darnton double cast the play, with some students swapping roles between casts and acts.
“Students had to work hard to understand the character relationships and act with depth and commitment,” said Darnton. “There was a lot to learn, and they had to balance their already busy lives and maintain academics as they rehearsed.”
From September to November, the ensemble honed their work in rehearsals. Students new to the stage were challenged to learn the basics of acting stagecraft while they learned lines and focused on speaking with meaning. More veteran actors grew in their ability to interpret text, connect to scene partners, and use their whole bodies to tell the story.
For Theo Zhang, who played Calvin O'Keefe, the play marked his fifth performance on stage. This time Theo was presented with a unique challenge.
“I was on crutches, and I could not do some movements on stage,” he said. “Mrs. Darnton accommodated my needs and was supportive throughout the entire process.”
Darnton praised both casts for their work supporting each other throughout the process.
“It is wonderful to see how they bond across grade levels, mentor each other, and learn to work with new and different people,” she said. “Developing a group sense of belonging is crucial to telling a strong theatrical story.”