The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Theatre Department Takes the Lead on New Production “I Am”

Students working on their new play

The Niles West Theatre Department is preparing for a new piece called “I Am,” which surrounds the theme of identity and family ties. It is a devised project, meaning the 12 actors cast in the ensemble and other individuals involved in the play collaborate to write the entire story as they go along. The new production will explore various short stories from each decade from 1900 to the present.

This new kind of play is something Niles West Theatre hasn’t done before and it was introduced by the show’s director, Tim Rhoze. Since it’s produced entirely by our theatre department, West students have full creative control over what they put out.

“Our director has done pieces like this before and thought it would be an interesting opportunity to bring into the Niles West Theatre space. My favorite part of the process is getting the opportunity to put in my input towards the final production of the play. Even in a short time, it’s taught me how to make everything I say count and to think before I give my input,” sophomore and Assistant Director Sara BaleĀ said.

“I Am,” wasn’t what the department originally planned on doing. They intended on running the play “Emilia,” but ran into some obstacles and decided to try something new. Nonetheless, everyone in on the production is pleased with what they have so far.

“I suggested we give the students an opportunity to do a devised play. The suggestion was fully supported by the Fine Arts Department and staff. The creative energy in the room is electric, very collaborative. I dig that a lot,” Rhoze said.

Since the theatre department has full freedom over what goes into the play, there are also a few challenges that they have to combat. It takes a lot of time and planning to create your own piece, which doesn’t come easy to most.

“My least favorite of the process right now would be the time constraint. We’re still very early in the process but the script is supposed to be sent and finalized and sent to crews soon, and I wish I could see the potential of the script if we had more time. Overall, I’m just really excited to see how it turns out,” Bale said.

Cast members also feel this pressure, but are finding joy with the freedom.

“This production is really a trust-the-process kind of project and I usually don’t love that kind of thing, but I’m having fun seeing where it’s going to go,” senior and Ensemble Member Ava CheckeĀ said.

See “I Am,” on Feb. 22, 23 and 24!

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