Richert excited to produce one of WA’s first sci-fi plays


Cloud Walsh

Senior Chrissy Richert smiles for a picture.

Cloud Walsh, Staff Writer

Kicking off Westford Academy Theater Arts’ new season is Walt Mcgough’s “Chalk”. It is a play managed by senior director Chrissy Richert. “Chalk” will be performed on Oct. 27th at 7 p.m., Oct. 28th at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Nov. 3rd at 7 p.m., and Nov. 4th at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Q: What is “Chalk” about?

A: It’s about a mother and a daughter’s relationship after the end of the world. The relationship is very strained. At the beginning of the show, the daughter comes back after leaving her mother for a week and when she comes back something isn’t right.

Q: Why did you choose this show?

A: I chose “Chalk” because I really liked the horror genre. While it might not be completely like horror, it has an unsettling element to it. I find that very fascinating, and I’d love to explore that kind of thing because there are so many different ways that you can make people feel things, I just thought that was so interesting.

Q: Why did you first choose to do theater?

A: I really liked theater in middle school. I thought it was really fun. I really liked the people, then when I got to high school, I kind of realized that I really liked it in a more professional setting.

Q: What is your desired outcome for WA’s performance of “Chalk”?

A: I want it to be very cool. I want it to be very tech heavy in this black box because I think it’s just such a cool playing space. We also don’t do a lot of sci-fi shows here, and I would love to bring that into the black box because I’ve never seen that in this space.

Q: Can you tell me about the casting process?

A: We did auditions and then we did callbacks. The show stars two girls, so I was looking for girls that I knew could really push and would be comfortable with each other on stage, physically and emotionally. That’s because it’s such a heavy show. I needed girls that could fight like girls.

Q: How long have you been doing theater?

A: I’ve been doing theater since I was in sixth grade.

Q: What’s the process of becoming a director at WA, and what did it look like for you specifically?

A: The normal process is that you have to take every single theater class offered here and then you have to pick a play that goes along with the guidelines that Mr. Towers gives you.  Then you have to write up a paper saying why you should be able to direct and all your specifics on what you want to do. For me specifically, we did it a little differently because of COVID, so not a lot of us had the opportunity to take every single theater class. However, I used my time during SSPA [Summer School for the Performing Arts] to work extra hard to cover the knowledge I didn’t have.

Q: Are you a first time director? If so, how do you feel about it?

A: I’m not technically a first time director because I did a 10-minute play at Summer School for the Performing Arts [SSPA] this summer. But even though I’m not, I’m still very excited because the show is very different from a 10-minute show.

Q: Why should people see “Chalk” at WA?

A: It’s interesting and it shows the classic bond of a mother and a daughter. Even for people who don’t have that relationship, I think it’s very important because it still has that family aspect. It just shows how important family is, even in the most dire of circumstances.

For more information on Westford Academy Theater Arts, visit the WATA Facebook and Instagram pages.