'Leading Ladies' takes the stage

By Ashley Shah

“Leading Ladies,” a play set in the 1950s, is coming to life on the Poway Center for the Performing Arts stage. The Poway High School theater department will perform “Leading Ladies” on Oct. 24, 25 and 26.

The theater department runs two plays a year. The fall play and student directed one acts in the spring. 

Theater teacher and director Sharon Wezelmen isdirecting the play. Alongside Wezelmen, for the first time, are two student directors. Senior Louis VanArsdale is stage manager and costume designer; and senior Ellie Beers is in charge of set design. 

“The play this year will probably be the funniest one yet. The actors have a lot more charisma. Everyone is having a good time at rehearsal and the actors and tech are laughing together. We have made great progress,” VanArsdale said. “Being the stage manager has been a great experience and getting to see the improvement in actors is awesome. Costume design is very challenging because we have to fit all body types for rather interesting costumes, but the whole process when put together is amazing to see.” 

The fall play this year is a comedy. The play focuses on two English Shakespearean actors, Leo and Jack, who find their careers failing. While they are touring in Pennsylvania, they find out that an old lady in York, Pennsylvania is about to die and will end up giving her fortune to two of her lost nieces. Jack and Leo, then decide to pass themselves off as the old woman’s relatives in order to obtain the cash.

The comedy comes in when these two male actors must dress as females in order to receive the payment from the elderly lady. The complexity arises when Leo falls in love with the woman’s niece, Meg, the one who he is impersonating.

The leads of the play consist of senior Austin Parness who will be playing Jack, senior Tanner Mejia who will be playing Leo, and senior Jordyn Callahan who will be playing Meg. 

“This play has been very interesting because Austin and I have to learn how to be British actors with dialect coaches. The play is very fast and there is no place where it can slow down, so it really keeps us on our toes for the actors,” Mejia said. “It’s fun for all of us who are involved to see the progression of the play and all the time that goes into making it.” 

Those involved in the theater program practice for hours on end. Throughout most weeks they practice around two to three hours per day, however, the week of and before the actual show date they practice six hours a day after school. 

The profits from the play go directly back to the theater program so the program can put on more plays for the public to enjoy. 

 Tickets will be sold at the door. The Poway Center for the Performing Arts is at 15498 Espola Road.