WATA brings Mean Girls to WA


Isabelle Hesse

The cast and crew of Mean Girls poses for a group photo.

Isabella Hesse, Staff Writer

The curtains open and light floods the stage. Audience applause swells through the theater and quickly quiets down. A plethora of students spill out of the wings, and the show begins.

This spring, Westford Academy Theater Arts (WATA) is putting on the lively show Mean Girls, with more performances scheduled for May 4th, 5th, and 7th. The show, a satirical story of a girl new to the experience of traditional high school, was just opened this fall for high school theater.

“Every high school in the country has been waiting for this musical to pop up,” Maggie Sulka, the Director of the show said.

The show, while hilarious, brings up some relevant issues, especially in high school. The messages coming from this production are applicable to real life, and Sulka hopes that is what viewers will take away from the production.

“It’s really hard to be a girl and it’s really hard to be a high schooler,” Sulka said. “We have complexities, but we also have a duty and a commitment to our community to treat each other well.”

But the production of a musical is not only beneficial for the audience. The cast, crew, and other contributors to a show can gain something too, specifically life lessons coming from the experience of being so close to roles so similar and yet so different from their own lives.

“I want them to feel like ‘how am I alike and how am I different and how can I be more like this person? Or how can I make different choices than this person?’ The goal is for them to create an intentional community,” Sulka said.

The show is unique this year in that it is double casted, meaning that there are multiple cast members playing the same role. This was done in order to give more people an opportunity to play the parts and give more facets to each of the roles.

“You could come see it the first weekend and come again and see a completely different show,” Sulka said.

While the final product of a show may seem put together and effortless, the creation of the shows WATA brings to the stage are a product of relentless effort and hard work. The typical rehearsal changes from day to day, whether that’s the length, the scene, or the task, but the goal remains the same: get the show from being a script on paper to a full-scale musical production.

In theater, no two shows are ever the same, even with the same script. Different directors have different visions, even within the same production. For Sulka, the mood of the show and the messages are very important, but so are the visuals. She plans to break down that feeling of pink and make it more than what meets the eye.

“I do know there will be a lot of pink on stage. There are just some things that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Sulka said.

Junior Sammy Waterhouse, who plays Karen in the production, also believes the color pink has more to it than what meets the eye.

“For the girls in the play, it seems almost like a sense of belonging. The iconic line “On Wednesdays, we wear pink” has a somewhat darker meaning than we usually perceive,” Waterhouse said. “If you don’t wear pink, you can’t sit with the Plastics at lunch. You will be ostracized simply based on what you wear.”

Sulka also talked about the ways the cast and crew come together to form something so big, and how it is a collaboration between many different people with varying points of view.

“It’s just so cool to be looking at a 14 year old coming up with the best idea in the room,” Sulka said. “The best idea can come from anywhere. You’re going to find it when everybody is together on the same page working collaboratively,” Sulka said.

Musical productions at WA are truly a culmination of work from all different departments, and that is what makes them special.

“It really is the biggest event that Westford Academy does. You have people from technical theater, the art department […] orchestra and band classes. It’s so much engineering and science and figuring out how we’re going to build these things,” Sulka said.

The cast and crew of Mean Girls have been working hard to put everything together in preparation for their show dates. It will certainly be a production to watch out for, and will definitely be an engaging experience for audiences.

“It’s going to be really fun, sassy, and exciting, and I think it’s going to speak really clearly,” Sulka said.