There’s nothing like a little extra drama to lighten up life, and that’s what members of the Big Walnut High School Drama Club are delivering – an extra drama.
Each year the school’s drama department puts on a fall play and a spring musical, then the season is over — except not this year. Big Walnut drama students Mackenzie Swank and Makenzie Daggett have written an extra play, “Library,” that’s student-directed and student-driven and will be presented on April 8 and 9.
“We were backstage during our production of ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ last year, and Mackenzie Swank asked (drama adviser and director) Erin Gibbons if we could have a third production written and directed by students this year,” Daggett said. “She said to show her a script and she would think about it.”
Daggett and Swank put their heads together and collaborated on writing “Library.” It took just under a year to complete the script. Gibbons liked the concept, and the rest, as they say, is theater history.
Daggett said the play, like its title, is about a library, but not any old library.
“Imagine every story and history compiled into one library,” Daggett said. “The library’s contents are managed by a council of spirits representing every literary genre, but the problem is they can’t get along.”
Daggett said “Library” is about a generic library in a generic time and place, and it’s huge and constantly expanding. The play has a lot of references to pop culture, but it could be either a contemporary library or in the future.
In addition to Daggett, who serves as a narrator, and Swank, who has an onstage role, cast members are Samantha Buxton, John Loeffler, Daniel Zitello, Alec Schnabel, Samuel Beckett, Codie Muth, Sam Will, Elizabeth Yuhas, Marie Pendley and Kaley Daniel. Andrew Pohlod, Madelyn Swank and Madelyn Wecker serve as understudies, and “Library” has a host of backstage crew members.
“Everyone, cast and crew, is having a lot of fun,” Daggett said. “I get to direct a play as opposed to acting in it, so it’s a great experience for me. It’s definitely different than being on stage. I get to sit out front and watch characters I wrote come to life. The dynamics of that are a lot different.”
“Library” opens on Friday, April 8, with a second performance on Saturday, April 9, in the Big Walnut High School auditorium. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the play begins at 7:30. Tickets are $5 at the door.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093