Theatre Board puts on 12th annual Tens by Teens

Camilla Breen, Assistant Photo Editor

Audience members in the SC PAC were amidst graveyards and spooky scenes as actors performed their unintentionally dark 12th annual Tens by Teens show on April 25, 27 and 28. Put on by the Theatre Board, the shows, all 10 minutes in length, were written, directed, and acted out entirely by students.  Although the general theme of the show was dark, the cast and writers managed to explore a range of genres, according to actress Bodie Wheaton ‘19.

“There seemed to be a lot more profound, deeper thought about connections, life, death, parents and children,” producer Lawrence Keller said. “The most interesting part of this year’s show was the depth of the plays and the personal connection that writers made.”

Wheaton performed in “You Deserved That” by Kelly McDonell ‘19, about a couple that finds themselves in a graveyard on Halloween night. The play featured talent from every grade level, as did many of the other plays; the well rounded casts are what brought a range of audience members to the show, she said.

“There’s an element of relatability that say, a show written 100 years ago wouldn’t have, because writers write what they know,” Wheaton said. “Mr. Keller did a great job of  challenging actors and writers to their full capabilities.”

Will Moran ‘18 wrote “Grave Stakes” (more commonly known as “the vampire one” to his cast mates) about three vampire roommates going “grocery shopping” at a graveyard. Moran also acted in “Portraits” by Nicole van Drasek ‘18, where he faced the added challenge of portraying a blind man, he said.

“One of the best compliments I get  is ‘I didn’t think the plays would be that good’,” Keller said. “This was my dream when I came to LT 14 years ago, and that sort of affirmation is what I look forward to the most.

The balance of comedy and drama within each show, Wheaton said, helped audiences connect with the shows in a way that didn’t happen last year.

“Some of the quiet, understated nature of people’s creative writing surprised [the audience]” Moran said. “The writers and directors are all so talented, and this year’s lineup of scripts took a lot of risks.”

By giving the cast six weeks to rehearse and pushing them to be ‘off-book’ by week two, the emphasis on student productivity and organization was further increased by allowing the students to truly immerse themselves in their characters and plays, Keller said.

“It’s really all the students,” Wheaton said. “It’s a little scary too, because we’re in high school and putting on this big production. It’s cool to see what is on paper and then to see it come to life.”