WHSTE’s “Horse Girls” preview

Horse Girls rehearsals are to begin on Thursday, Dec. 9. Auditions took place on Monday, Dec. 6 and Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 3:25 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Credit: Selena Liu

“Horse Girls” rehearsals are to begin on Thursday, Dec. 9. Auditions took place on Monday, Dec. 6 and Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 3:25 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

WHSTE’s Winter One-Act has recently been announced as “Horse Girls” and is distinct from other years because of its captivating plot. The 40 minute story focuses on seven girls between the ages of 10 and 13 that share a common love for horses and together, they create a club called the Lady Jeans. One day the club members find out that people want to kill their beloved horses for meat. The rest of the play focuses on the girls’ attempt to stop the “bad guys” and save their horses.

WHSTE Director Aidan O’Hara found the play through his student teacher Ryan Baker, who had seen the Emerson College production. After a long, grueling process of research and exploring new possibilities, O’Hara found that “Horse Girls” was the best fit.

“The play is a dark, stylized comedy,” O’Hara said. “I think it fits nicely both in the course of our current year’s season, as well as the bigger picture of WHSTE and its past years’ works. It’s important to offer variety to the students, so they can grow in a number of different ways as artists.”

Like every preceding year, “Horse Girls” will enter into the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild (METG) High School Drama Festival. O’Hara explains that it is a competitive drama festival that includes 100 schools in the state. WHSTE was not able to participate last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“[METG] occurs in March and is super fun because it brings students from different schools together to share their work and find affinity in their identity as drama kids and as creative, kind people,” O’Hara said.

Auditions took place on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7, lasting a little more than two hours each day. Many freshmen are auditioning for the play and find that the high school’s production is completely new to them.

“It is my first year in high school, but I want to be in this play because I think it will be such an incredible experience and opportunity to be able to work with amazing actors and to also learn from them,” freshman Isabella Fuentes said.

WHSTE Co-President and senior Grace Stephenson, who has been in many of the WHS plays throughout high school, plans to audition for “Horse Girls.” She thinks its comedic tone is a good fit for the people who tend to do WHSTE’s shows.

“I think that our current ensemble will really connect with the script,” Stephenson said. “It fits our sort of humor, and it will be really fun to put on stage.”

Stephenson, like many WHSTE regulars, sees value in participating in acts put on at the high school. She explains that although all the plays are different, students can gain a lot from each one.

“There’s lots of valuable things to [take from] participating in WHSTE,” Stephenson said. “You get to meet new people and make new friends. There’s also the performing aspect. You get to learn a lot and grow as a performer when you do a play.”

Even with the play’s comedic style, it holds bigger themes in the plot. It tells a story of obsession.

“The play is about passion and being obsessed with something, and the insecurities that can come with it,” O’Hara said “The human characters are all pre-teens, so I would say the play is also about finding your place in the world.”