Morgan and Parker’s Debut Shows Performs in Nov.


Photo by Genevieve Mumma

(L-R) Miriam Morgan, Angel Parker

Henry Hawes, Reporter

This fall, Seniors Miriam Morgan and Angel Parker are making their first attempt at directing a theatrical show. It’s an opportunity provided by the Central Theater Arts Academy (CTAA) that’s giving students a new perspective on the world of theatre.

    “My favorite thing about directing is being able to inspire the people that I work with,” said Parker.

    CTAA director Carolyn Taira approached the two seniors about directing in the last months of the 2017-2018 school year, and they’ve been putting their shows together ever since. When Taira extended the offer, Morgan decided to write an original. She wrote the show that summer and now, nearly half a year later, she’ll be able to see it performed on stage. “When I first wrote it, I just wrote it all in one go. I didn’t go through multiple drafts. I wrote the whole thing, and I would go through it and change small things, but most of the plot is the original draft,” said Morgan.

    Directing helps develop leadership skills that will be useful in life, both in and out of the theater. Parker will use the skills she learns in CTAA to help in the next step of her education. “You know how you show leadership in your everyday? It’s different when you’re leading a group of people, y’know? I feel like that’ll help me a lot going to college because I’m a senior,” said Parker.

    Morgan’s show is greatly influenced by her imaginative childhood. She got her inspiration from her love of science fiction. “Growing up I’ve always been a really big fan of sci-fi and things like that. No matter what I read or what I watched, it always had to have some kind of fantasy or sci-fi concept to it,” said Morgan.

    The show, “Cell Mates,” is a tale of prisoners and aliens, and it’s something Morgan hopes will be an exciting experience for her audience. It takes after her favorite science fiction franchise, “Blade Runner.” “A lot of people when they write things, they’re always like ‘oh there’s this giant message to it,’ or ‘it’s a giant metaphor.’ Mine is just to be really cool. I just want people to watch it and go ‘that was so awesome,’” said Morgan.

    Parker’s show, “Close Encounters of the Undead Kind” by Jeffrey Harr, is a seemingly ordinary romantic comedy. However, the show has a Halloween twist, and one of the characters has a craving for brains. “My show is about a teenage girl who wants to rebel against her parents by dating bad boys. So she’s dating all these different guys and she ends up dating a zombie,” said Parker.

    Every director has a different directing style, and throughout this experience Parker has been discovering hers. She’s looking for a middle ground between strict and relaxed. “I don’t want to be too hard, because I feel like if you’re too hard on someone, it takes away their trust in you. But I also don’t want to be too lenient,” said Parker.

    Under her direction, the other students in Parker’s show have come together as a cast. “I can really see that they’re becoming friends, and that makes me feel good. I didn’t want them to be strangers the entire time. I wanted them to build a sense of trust within each other,” said Parker.     

     CTAA supports the shows by allowing the students to use their equipment. Their staff members are in charge of instructing students and guiding them through the complex process of producing a show. “They’re providing the set, props, costumes, pretty much everything,” said Morgan. “I’m really thankful for that.”

    This program offers the opportunity for MHS students to acquire important theatrical skills, and what they learn from this experience will enhance their future performances. The young directors’ debut shows will be performed on Nov. 16 at the MHS cafeteria. Admission is free, and the shows begin at 7:00 p.m.