The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Michael and Talaid shine backstage

Michael and Talaid in the PAC.

By Kathleen McAleese
Feature Editor

When students think of WATA, Westford Academy Theater Arts, the image of a young performer in the bright lights, covered in stage makeup may come to mind, but for juniors Sarah Talaid and Jenie Michael, their experience as co-directors is much different.

The production of Evita, the main-stage production this 2012-2013 WATA season is being directed by Michael Towers, the director of Westford Academy Theater Arts.

Michael and Talaid were announced as the student directors last spring, at the Westford Academy Awards, recognizing outstanding achievement from individuals and reveals the plans to the coming year.

It was unique for two students to be co-directing, especially the main stage production, and out of the ordinary for Towers to be directing the main stage.

“There is something about being on the other side of the table that I really enjoyed,” said Michael, and she gladly accepted her new directing job.

With a love for all things music, for Talaid, “I really wanted to be in this year’s musical. For me, singing was a childhood thing, I’ve always loved it. But now that I’m here, it is really rewarding; seeing the other side.”

Both Talaid and Michael have divided up their own roles.

Talaid is in charge of the parents of the cast and helping them with the front of the house and flower sales.  Talaid is also responsible for the children’s chorus, consisting of young kids that participated in SSPA, the Summer School for the Performing Arts.

Michael has a different role, being in charge of the WA cast, the artistic aspects of the show, and costumes.

With the two girls splitting the brunt of the work, they advise rehearsals, the blocking of scenes with Towers and the musical rehearsals with the musical director, Scott Cruikshank.

“Power to block the show or do anything artistic like that, [we have] little to [no power],” said Michael, “We are more of the managerial type.”

Blocking the shows, or running through the scenes is something Towers has taken control of; making sure the product being created is what he envisioned.

“I’m actually so thankful that there is two of us. Neither of us could have imagined there being just one of us, it’s just so huge,” said Talaid.

The progress of the show has been going very well with the show ahead of schedule, according to the two.

“There are a few things still that need quite a bit of tweaking in terms of putting transitions together, making sure everyone can hit the right note, that sort of thing,” said Michael. With over one month to go until the show, the cast is well prepared for the seven showings of the production, the two agreed.

Spending countless hours together for several rehearsals a week, the girls have become very close.

“Last year we knew each other existed and we were friendly but spending so much time together has really allowed to get to know her,” said Michael, about her new friend and partner.

The show is scheduled to have performances on November 9, 10, and 11 and the 14th through the 17th of the month.


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