Taking the stage solo

Isabelle Keever, Copy Editor

Twenty-six pages of straight dialogue, six crew members and one woman. After nearly six months of preparation, senior Eu Jin Kim and junior Taylor Bench perform the woman show, the Santaland Diaries.

Unlike most plays, one actor takes the stage for the entire hour with a small crew working behind the scenes.

“It’s the first time the school has ever done a one woman show like this,” Bench said. “It’s definitely the first time I’ve done one.”

When the girls saw the cast list in June, both were caught by surprise and recognized the challenge of the role.

“I realized I had to memorize such a long script,” Kim said. “I found it on Google and started the moment I got the cast list.”

With such a unique show there are new challenges that both have faced, especially since everything is up to them while on stage. They learned to be alone with no one to bounce off of if they forgot a line.

“The hardest part is staying on track,” Bench said. “When you’re by yourself and you blank it can be really scary.”

To cope with these issues, the girls had food and drink set out on stage to use if they can’t remember what to say next.

“We have a bottle filled with tea and I’ll drink it until I remember what my line is,” Kim said.

Despite these challenges, Bench has seen herself become more confident and realizes she is more capable than she first thought.

“What I think of myself has grown through the process,” Bench said. “Being able to learn twenty six pages makes me feel better about putting my mind to something and getting it done.”

Kim discovered a sense of independence through this experience and doesn’t doubt her abilities to remember lines and put on a meaningful performance.

“It’s allowed me to rely on myself more as an actor,” Kim said. “Having this independence has made me stronger.”

With such a small cast and crew, junior and stage manager Kasey Durham found the environment very intimate and has become closer with the girls.

“My favorite part was seeing them grow as actresses,” Durham said. “One day they were struggling to learn a twenty six page monologue and all of a sudden their character came to life.”

Since two shows, one being the Santaland Diaries, ran at the same time, many students and teachers put in effort to make them as good as possible. Bench expressed her admiration for those working with her to make sure everything went smoothly.

“We have so many good technicians and actors that know how to lead,” Bench said. “We’ve been able to take some of the weight off everyone’s shoulders.”

As a senior, Kim is trying to make the most out of the school year with the theatre department, and wants to leave with memories she can hold forever.

“I would love to be involved in theatre as much as possible in my last year of high school,” Kim said. “I just want to end it with a bang.”