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Drama Queens steal the show in first performance of year, present contemporary monologues, scenes

Photo credit: Audrey Chang
Senior Megan Kelley performs a scene from “Yoga Play.” The Drama Queens held their first performance of the school year Thursday, Oct. 19, during lunch in the Blackbox, and featured a collection of scenes and monologues from contemporary plays.

Bursts of laughter erupted in the Blackbox theatre from audience members as the Drama Queens took the stage for the first show of the school year, performing scenes from “Horse Girls,” “Yoga Play,” “Blown Youth” and “The Last of the Pelican Daughters.”

The Drama Queens are composed of students from the Theatre Arts: Intermediate, Theatre Arts: Advanced and Advanced Study: Theatre classes. The performance took place Thursday, Oct. 19, during lunch, and showcased scenes and monologues from a collection of contemporary plays. As some of the scenes contained explicit language and more mature themes, the show was only open to upper school students, faculty and staff.

Tenth grade Dean of Culture, Community and Belonging and theatre teacher Tracy Poverstein said she looked for plays from unique and up-and-coming authors for students to choose from and was excited by how many parents were able to attend the show.

“We had a huge audience … we had more parents be able to attend than ever before, so it was a really enthusiastic reception and a great way to start the year,” Poverstein said. “And I think people are still really excited for live performances and an opportunity to come to campus live and in-person.” 

This is junior Grace Whitney’s second year as a Drama Queen, and she performed a scene from The Wardrobe Ensemble’s “The Last of the Pelican Daughters.” Whitney said, unlike many other Drama Queens shows, this one did not have a particular theme or focus on either comedic or dramatic scenes. Instead, the scenes were more broadly defined as contemporary works.

“There is a very distinct theme for every show: we’ll do scenes from movies; at the holiday show, we’ll have original work,” Whitney said. “And this time, we don’t really have a theme, which is interesting because we don’t really know how to advertise it to the student body, but there’s no limits on what we can choose — we can just do whatever we want, which is exciting.”

Poverstein described the preparation leading up to the show, which included completing scene readings, deciding roles at the end of September and rehearsing for about two schedule rotations prior to the performance.

“We were just looking at what would be appropriate material for our audience? What would push our actors in terms of their skill level? What would entertain our community? And what would be a little different from what we’ve done before?” Poverstein said. “It’s always amazing to me that students self-select … they know what would show them off best or what would challenge them.” 

Before the show, Whitney said she was most excited to perform with the sophomores who are new to Drama Queens this year and see their different methods going into the performance.

“It’s always fun to just perform with all these people — it’s just such a fun feeling to be on stage with people you know — that you’re friends with — and just all having fun at the same time,” Whitney said. “And it’s fun to do it with the audience because you do it so many times that you are out of it, and you don’t realize when a moment is shocking or funny or whatever, so that you get that audience perspective as you’re going — you’re like, ‘Oh, that is a funny line.'” 

Senior Ella Gray has been on Drama Queens since last school year, and for this show, she performed a scene with senior Alexis David from Dipika Guha‘s “Blown Youth.” She said she enjoyed that the performance was a culmination of the Drama Queens’ dedication.

“I think just watching everyone and seeing how all our hard work paid off — it was really fun,” Gray said. “The audience received it really well, and I’m really proud of everyone.”

The Drama Queens are planning to have a holiday show in early December, along with two or three performances next semester, according to Poverstein. She emphasized that having a shared purpose or performance creates a special, connected environment.

“I love this class because it’s really about making something together,” Poverstein said. “It’s not just about theater — although all the students in Drama Queens love theater — I think what keeps making them come back, and many of them take the class over and over again, is that sense of community they have in working together on a common goal.” 

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About the Contributor
Audrey Chang
Audrey Chang, Editor-in-Chief
Audrey Chang joined the Oracle as a staff reporter in 2021 and became the News Editor in 2022. In 2023, she became the Editor-in-Chief. She played on the Archer varsity tennis team, was a member of the Ambassador Leadership Team Advisory Board and ran the For Goodness Cakes club. In her free time, you could find her baking, surfing and playing with her four dogs. She graduated in 2024.

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