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Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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On Dec. 6, a town meeting will occur in Wayland High School’s lecture hall to discuss teachers’ and teaching assistants contracts. “We know that we’re lucky as educators to work in Wayland, we love it here,” WTA’s president Sarah Sontag said. “We know that we have the support of so many of our families and so we’re really just looking for families to come out on Dec. 6 and vote yes.”
News Brief: Upcoming town meeting to discuss Wayland teachers’ contracts
December 4, 2023
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A community’s creation: WHSTE presents “SpongeBob Musical”

Credit: Courtesy of whs.te on Instagram
Wayland High School Theater Ensemble (WHSTE) will perform their annual fall play, “SpongeBob Musical,” on Nov. 16, Nov. 17 and Nov. 18. “It’s going to be an incredibly entertaining musical,” WHSTE director Aidan O’Hara said. “It was on Broadway five or six years ago and it’s unique [because] each song is written by a different music performer. There’s [songs] by Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Panic at the Disco!, the Plain White T’s, Lady Antebellum– all of these pop stars contributed a song and it took shape as a Broadway show that is fun for adults and kids. It has all of the different kinds of humor.”

A classic childhood cartoon to some and a silly show to others, the famous cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants” has played an integral role in some students’ childhoods. It’s clear that Wayland High School Theater Ensemble (WHSTE) understands this sentiment as they prepare to perform their annual fall play, “SpongeBob Musical,” on Nov. 16, 17 and 18.

WHSTE director Aidan O’Hara, Fine Arts department head Susan Memoli, WHSTE choreographer Megan Rose and music director Lee Condakes are in charge of deciding the play every year.

“There is a lot that goes into choosing a show and how the parts might be split up and the opportunities that might exist,” O’Hara said. “We factor in who is most likely to participate, audition or be involved. ‘SpongeBob’ just seemed like a great fit for this year’s students and it’ll be really exciting to produce.”

As soon as the play is chosen, auditions begin. WHSTE emphasized the importance of a community and inclusivity when choosing parts for the “SpongeBob Musical.”

“[The audition process] seeks out not only performers, but people who want to get involved behind the scenes and be a part of the company that produces the show,” O’Hara said. “We had 33 auditions for SpongeBob and we were able to take everyone. We try to make the musical as large a community event as possible, so we have some fall athletes who are just coming once a week until their fall sports winds down.”

Due to WHSTE’s strong emphasis on community and welcoming and friendly environment, some play members often look forward to rehearsals after school everyday.

“We’re all so friendly with each other and we can always talk to each other about anything, really, and be open about anything,” WHSTE member junior Isa Fuentes said. “We’re all really comfortable with each other and we’re all really close friends. I love WHSTE. Ever since I became a part of it, I knew since the first production that I was in that theater was something I was going to be doing for, hopefully, for a long time.”

Having a sense of community with one’s play company can be important to a production as it contributes to the chemistry between actors.

“I feel so at home with WHSTE,” WHSTE member junior Annabelle Roberts said. “I can express [better] myself to the people around me because they just understand me.”

Fuentes began WHSTE as a freshman, when she played soccer simultaneously. However, this did not stop her from becoming an active member of the program. Since then, her passion for acting has only grown and her work in the “SpongeBob Musical” is no exception.

“I’m playing Pearl Krabs, Mr. Krabs’ daughter,” Fuentes said. “That was the role that I auditioned for and I’m super grateful that I got it. Finding the deeper meaning of the character and developing that before showing it to the public [is important to ensure] it’s the best outcome that it can be.”

According to Fuentes, the “SpongeBob Musical” was chosen because of its perfect fit with the WHSTE company for the 2023-2024 school year.

“Our director based [his choice of show] on our whole WHSTE company, rather than choosing specific people for specific roles,” Fuentes said. “I think that’s really great because it allowed him to use all of his actors and their talents to the best of his abilities.”

For Roberts, her role in the “SpongeBob Musical” has allowed her to explore past her comfort zone as an actor.

“[As] Karen, the computer, [I] get to be so out there with [my] acting choices, which [I] wouldn’t be able to do in other, more serious shows,” Roberts said. It’s [been] fun to be able to push myself acting-wise.”

The play’s quickly approaching performance dates bring excitement to some WHSTE members.

“Every rehearsal [since September] has consisted of music, choreography, staging and acting,” O’Hara said. We [already] have the scenery and props prepared. Oddly, a lot of the work has been building up so that [on] the day of, we’re just waiting for showtime.”

WHSTE’s “SpongeBob Musical,” is a family-friendly performance, and is two hours and 15 minutes long.  Tickets for the musical can be purchased here.

“The SpongeBob Musical is great for families and friends,” Fuentes said. “It’s really fun, it has great music, it’s something that you can rock out to. There’s a lot of catchy songs, but on the other hand [there are songs with] a deeper meaning. Coming together, the musical really [exemplifies] coming together as a community and sticking together.

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About the Contributor
Tina Su, A&E Editor
Tina Su, Class of 2024, is a third year reporter and A+E editor for WSPN. She is a captain for the Wayland swim team and runs the Best Buddies club. Outside of school, she swims for her club team, Crimson Aquatics and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her friends and family. Contact: [email protected]
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