The Masks We Wear

A Note from the Director

Welcome! I am beyond privileged to invite the Westlake community to The Masks We Wear:  A Westlake Players’ Short Play Festival!  

In my music classrooms, I frequently emphasize that although the pandemic has brought  challenges, there are oftentimes unnoticed “silver linings;” educational opportunities and  experiences that could not have happened if not for the restrictions in place. This could not be  truer in the process of creating this unique night of theatre! 

In the fall, Mr. Schenker and I discussed the school community’s desire to perform a drama,  albeit with obvious limitations: Only 2-3 people on stage at once, the ability to rehearse only on  a students’ in-school cohort days, and social distancing in place, I instantly realized these are  the general components of producing a night of one-act plays. One-act plays present a  wonderful opportunity for a student-actor.  

First, they give each student the experience of playing a leading role. Each student is at the  helm of his/her play, allowing them to dive in to experiences generally afforded 5-6 actors in a “pre-pandemic” large-scale production. In our showcase, we have 20 lead actors, all of whom  have learned and embodied the goals, objectives, tactics, and circumstances of each of the  multi-layered characters they play. They have all been given personalized rehearsal time, both  in preliminary discussions determining each character’s motivations, along with rehearsal  activities which allow the student to experiment with various methods of connecting with their  fellow actors. 

Lastly, though the masks may initially seem to be restrictive within dramatic activities, the art  and study of “mask-work” have been used in styles of theatre and theatre education for  centuries! Ancient Greek theatre, the “Commedia Dell Arte” styles from Italy and France, and  the Kabuki Theatre from Japan have all instilled traditions of acting while having their faces  covered. Regardless, a covered face requires each actor to demonstrate feelings or emphasize a  line in ways other than using facial expressions. The students have achieved amazing heights in dramatic expression simply using their bodies and voices. This will undoubtedly bring new  levels of understanding to our students when we are finally allowed to perform without masks! 

On behalf of the Westlake Players, we invite you to sit, relax, and dive into this wonderful  showcase of one-act plays by a variety of contemporary playwrights. Particularly as a new  teacher, I am thrilled to have had this opportunity and support the artistic endeavors of these inspiringly hard-working high school students. I hope you agree that even in a world filled with  hardship, we can always find that silver lining. 

ENJOY! 

THE MASKS WE WEAR:

A WESTLAKE PLAYERS’  SHORT PLAY FESTIVAL 

STARRING: 

SAMANTHA DE LOUISE 

EMMA DELAU 

ELEANOR DEMPSEY 

KRISTA DRONZEK 

ALAURA HURDIS 

ISABELLA KALAVACI 

MOSES KHAN 

JORDYN KRATZ 

RYAN LIEBOWITZ 

SAMI LUBART 

JESSICA MOTTA 

EDDIE OLSZEWSKI 

JANE OLSZEWSKI 

VALENTINA RUBIO 

KENDALL SPEARMAN 

MICHAEL STRAFACE 

MAC VARGA 

NAYA VULAJ 

DEAN WILLIAMS 

MIA WILLIAMS 

 

CREW: 

ALYSSA BANGE 

ROBBIE BERENGER 

DANNY DIERSSEN 

RYAN DIERSSEN 

MIKE DESIMONE 

SEAN GRAY 

DAVID GREEN 

JULIE LUMORNO 

JOE MORRONE 

SAL PAPARELLA 

BENNY WILCHES 

 

STUDENT PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: SAMI LUBART

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: MS. BECCA POOLE

DIRECTOR: MR. ZANDER MEISNER

Program

THE RED COAT by John Patrick Shanley

John: Moses Khan 

Mary: Eleanor Dempsey 

THE PLAN by Katherine James 

Kiki: Krista Dronzek 

Anna: Naya Vulaj 

MONUMENT by Bennett Fisher 

Human: Valentina Rubio 

Alien: Jane Olszewski 

SURE THING by David Ives 

Betty: Mia Williams 

Bill: Ryan Liebowitz 

HARDWARE by Jess Honovich 

Leah: Jordyn Kratz 

Rayne: Sami Lubart 

TRUE by Melissa Gawlorski 

Maya: Kendall Spearman 

Baz: Michael Straface 

BETWEEN TWO FRIENDS by Stephen McFeely

A: Mac Varga 

B: Eddie Olszewski 

TWO SOCKS DISCUSS LOSS by Walt McGough

Navy: Samantha De Louise 

Black: Isabella Kalavaci 

DMV TYRANT by Christopher Durang 

Customer: Ryan Liebowitz 

DMV Lady: Jessica Motta 

AFTER THE BALL DROP by Rachel Lerner-Ley

Melvin: Dean Williams 

Jess: Jordyn Kratz 

UNCOMFORTABLE by Elle Anhorn 

Marcy: Emma Delau 

Anna: Alaura Hurdis 

Kyla: Naya Vulaj