Inaugural Student-led Production is a Hit


In Almost, Maine, the cast and directors explored love and loss through a series of nine short vignettes. Almost, Maine was an extra special play for Waunakee; it was the first student-directed play.

Juniors Maddie Thompson and Teagan Davis were the masterminds that brought the heartwarming play to fruition. Teagan Davis described the set up for directors as “there being 15 or so students who helped out with directing. There are 9 scenes and each scene had a separate director or group of directors.” This is the first student-directed play that the high school has done.

For senior Dan Nassalang, “it felt really amazing to have pictured my scene in my head, and then to see that vision realized on stage by my actors was like a dream come true.” Nassalang not only directed the scene, but he also was an actor in the scene “Seeing the Thing” and has acted in many previous shows in the high school. He said that being an actor gave him “faith in his actors to understand the script and use it to develop and fully realize their characters and motives.”

Another theater veteran senior Sam Wood said that “having everything be up to students was really liberating.” It was also the first time that Sam had an opportunity to direct a show. “Incorporating a third winter show was an amazing opportunity to expand my horizons and take on the role of the director for once. I hope this continues on in the future. It was just such a phenomenal experience,” said Wood.

The addition of a third show had always been something that people wanted; however, Davis puts it best. “Mr. Braun and Ms. Roberts direct two shows a year, and they don’t really have time for a third show,” said Davis. After seeing Almost, Maine at one act theater festivals and falling for the “slapstick humor and deep emotions,” producers Thompson and Davis fell for the play.

Having the hope of adding another show, Thompson and Davis decided to propose the idea of the drama department taking on the show as a series of student-directed shorts. This is the first time the school had done a student-directed show. For Wood, the show felt different from others. “[There was] a different dynamic, since it was my own peers. It felt more candid and like a group effort,” said Wood.

And there was a resounding hope from all of the people involved that there will be more student directed shows in the future. But as far as the show itself, Almost, Maine was a beautiful example of love in all of its different stages that was truly a memorable experience for everyone who got to enjoy it.