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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WATA raises ‘Voices From The High School’ with new blackbox performance

Anushka Tekade
The cast and crew of ‘Voices From The High School’ huddle together for a group photo in the black box theater.

Two characters stand facing each other, mixed expressions on both their faces. The dimly lit room is charged with emotion, the audience captivated by the scene unfolding in front of them. This spring, Westford Academy Theater Arts presents their final black box performance of the year: ‘Voices From The High School’, written by Peter Dee and directed by seniors Leah Stafford and Liz Sielian.

The play lasts two hours and depicts what it’s like being a teenager struggling through high school. Set in the 1980s, the play centers around students who attend Kennedy High School. The black box stars a unique few who tell stories that are about what life is truly like, with its fair share of ups and downs and a combination of character scenes and monologues. The last show will be performed in the black box theater at 7 p.m. on May 10.

The Kennedy High School logo on the wall of the black box. (Anushka Tekade)

The play includes heavy moments, including a character describing his suicide attempt in graphic detail, a student confessing the abuse they face from their father, and two friends struggling to cope with the loss of their siblings.

“One scene that hits hard for me is one that  [junior] Tyler Santos does,” sophomore and assistant director Eme Gorman said. “He really tuned things within himself and […] just executed it so well. It breaks your heart seeing it.”

Santos plays the role of the student who tried to take their own life. His descriptive monologue is emotionally charged, leaving many people in the audience in tears.

Santos sits on the edge of the stage at the end of his monologue. (Anushka Tekade)

“[Preparing] was a lot of me and my amazing directors, [Sielian and Stafford] working together,” Santos said. “[Sielian and I] would go out in the hall and just talk about how we wanted the scene to look, how I could portray what I was like, on the verge of tears, but not yet crying.”

Sophomore Lacey Fraser (left) and junior Tyler Santos (right) do a little dance during a lighter scene. (Anushka Tekade)

However, these scenes are contrasted with happier, more comedic scenes, where characters joke around with one another about the little things in life, and even fall in love.

With eight actors, each person had to play more than one character, switching between light and comedic scenes and heavy, meaningful scenes, all with 80s music in between each scene to fit the time period. Freshman Anoushka Pusalkar was the stage manager and sound designer.

“I really liked our soundtrack for our transitions between scenes,” Pusalkar said . “People asked me for the playlist like eight times, it was really funny.”

The cast and crew enjoyed the process of working together, especially because this is the final show being performed by WATA this school year. However, for the few seniors who worked on ‘Voices From The High School’, this was the last show they would ever do with WATA.

Freshman and stage manager Anoushka Pusalkar sits at the booth. (Anushka Tekade)

“I haven’t done a whole lot of theater with the school, so it’s a weird feeling because it’s like a beginning and an ending,” Sielian said. “But I’m excited about this [show].”

This play was chosen by Sielian and Stafford last May, and the cast and crew began the rehearsal process this March. Despite a few setbacks in production, including a lack of lights until the week of the performances, the cast and crew put on a successful show together in two months that reached the hearts of many people in the audience.

“I couldn’t choose other people to work with, I’ve made such good friends and […] the group of us just became really close over the show,” Santos said. “And I love every single one of [the cast and crew].”

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About the Contributors
Aarshia Bhattacharyya
Aarshia Bhattacharyya, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Aarshia Bhattacharyya, and I’m a freshman staff writer for the WA Ghostwriter! This is my first year on the Ghostwriter, and I’m so excited to be able to use my love for writing to contribute to the paper! I joined the newspaper because I love writing about stories I care about and am interested in. In my free time, I love baking, reading, writing, spending time with my friends, painting, and listening to music. Outside of school, I do dance and swim, two of my favorite sports! 
Núria Lainez Clapers
Núria Lainez Clapers, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Núria, and I am a sophomore at WA. I’m also a staff writer for the WA Ghostwriter and a member of the WA marching band. I love writing and learning languages. Outside of school I love reading (mainly fantasy books), listening to music (mostly Hozier), doing taekwondo and traveling. I’m very excited to experience my first year writing for the Ghostwriter.
Anushka Tekade, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Anushka Tekade and I’m a freshman. I’m a staff writer for the Ghostwriter club and am excited to take photos this year! I hope to document special moments this school year through photos. I enjoy all forms of art including, drawing, painting, music, and photography. 

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