Student-written play to premiere on Wednesday

Erin Walsh

vlcsnap-2009-08-06-00h01m05s169On Wednesday, April 29, this year’s spring play, Ballad of High School, is set to premiere at 7pm in the new black box theater. The play is an original collection of stories in the form of monologues, with musical accompaniment. What makes this play special? Richard Weingartner, Wayland High School’s drama teacher, didn’t write a word. All of the actors will perform monologues that they wrote themselves.

Mr. Weingartner’s challenge to the actors was to create their own characters and tell the experiences of typical American teenagers. He made no contributions until each monologue was fully formed. When asked why he gave the actors so much responsibility, Mr. Weingartner replied, “The idea was to give each actor a chance to write their own piece–their own play.” He saw it as a good opportunity to “give a chance for them to be not only actors, but also playwrights.”

Unlike many past productions, Ballad of High School boasts a musical ensemble made up entirely of high school students. While musicians Alex Romania, Ryan Rosenblatt, TC Jiang, Kate Fiske, Haylee Rosenblatt and Iliana Smalanskas double as actors, Mr. Weingartner also talked students Ellen Boyle, Emma Gimlich, Ramin Habibi, and Ben Wohlfarth into performing musical accompaniments.

With such an inventive idea paired with the creativity and versatility of these actors, many of whom were in the fall musical, Seussical: The Musical!, the spring play promises to be an experience one would not want to miss. With a cast of quirky characters and even a few spins on the classic monologue form–two double monologues and a trialogue, in one case–Ballad of High School has the shine of originality associated with Wayland High School Theatre Ensemble (WHSTE).

Ballad of High School will be performed on April 29 through May 2 in L1.