For Pomona High School seniors Benjamin Saprano and Abbie Traynor, both members of the schools arts and humanities program PAH, directing a play of their choosing with their peers as actors is a …
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WHAT: Two one-act plays presented by Pomona High Catwalk Theater “#viral” directed by student Abbie Traynor and “Tracks” directed by student Benjamin Saprano
WHEN: 7 p.m. Nov. 8, 9 and 10
WHERE: The Catwalk Theater at Pomona High, 8101 W. Pomona Drive, Arvada
TICKETS: $8 general admission — available at' www.catwalktheatrecompany.com'
For Pomona High School seniors Benjamin Saprano and Abbie Traynor, both members of the schools arts and humanities program PAH, directing a play of their choosing with their peers as actors is a “once-in-high-school opportunity.”
“It was really exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time to know that I will be directing a play,” Saprano said.
The two and their selected plays were chosen following an exercise in their junior year, where the class spends time researching and pitching their plays. Each year two plays and two students are chosen to direct a one-act performed at the school.
“They’ve worked the whole summer on how they feel about their shows and the message they want audiences to walk away with,” said Jesse Collett, theater teacher at Pomona. “Now it’s an opportunity for them to be a leader and to make a difference in some of their peers’ lives by helping them create art.”
Collett said the project is an example of how they create authentic-based tasks in the PAH program.
“We really like to give students opportunities and this is a great way to do that and give students a role that they also feel empowered,” Collett said. “I think they walk out of it with a community of supporters, camaraderie, and they walk out of it better artists.”
For Traynor, who is directing the play “#viral,” empowerment is also something she hopes her audience feels.
“#viral” deals with the subject of bullying and cyber bullying. The play features five girls and tells their sides of a story.
“I chose it because it’s an important play to me,” Traynor said. “I chose it because I want to show women empowering other women.”
Traynor said directing for her is tougher than she thought it would be, but that she is learning a lot doing it. She hopes she can bring her experience with her to college, as she auditions soon for the musical theater program at the University of Northern Colorado.
“It’s such a great growing experience, learning experience,” she said.
Saprano will be directing the show “Tracks,” which tells the story of people from across the country who have died and are in this subway station waiting for a train that will either bring them to heaven or hell and how they react to that.
“Directing a one-act is a unique experience because only two seniors a year get to do it,” said Saprano, who also hoped to pursue musical theater in college. “I just think that having this kind of program and having this opportunity really impacts high schoolers a lot.”
Both shows will be performed at Pomona High’s Catwalk Theater, 8101 W. Pomona Drive in Arvada, for three nights Nov. 8, 9 and 10.
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