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Writers' Showcase to premiere March 16

Trinity Collins, Entertainment Editor

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While most plays performed here at ETHS are just ‘classics’ on repeat, Writers’ Showcase allows students to write their own material and have it featured in a student-run play.

“Students appreciate the lack of structure,” Sponsor Lisa Oberman says. “It really is entirely student written, produced and acted. It allows you to focus on the words and actors. It makes the audience use their imagination.”

Writers’ Showcase, sponsored by the English Dept., has been around for over 40 years. It is lead by a board of students who collect original writing pieces from classmates of all grades. Every year, 300 pieces are submitted, and only 20 to 25 pieces are chosen.

“It’s very exciting for student writers to see something they write come to life on stage,” Oberman says. “Most of the time, the writers are delighted by the way in which their piece is interpreted.”

Contrary to past years, where there has been more of a mix of serious and funny skits, this board this year chose more lighthearted works, although there is still some serious pieces in the show. According to Oberman, this is “a sign of these very serious political times.”

One of the benefits of using student work is that actors and directors have access to the writers, allowing for a more collaborative play. Directors can go back and ask about meaning behind the piece if necessary.

“We get a lot of submissions that are just blocks of text that can be hard to transform into dialogue or good, balanced monologues,” Co-Director, senior Tally Dully says. “We spend a long while transforming pieces and then continue to change them through the entire process.”

The lack of stage direction also benefits actors and directors because they get more creative freedom with the pieces. This permits Bailey and Duffy to experiment in a variety of ways before settling on the best.