Seniors Noah Smith and James Ball write and direct “Foster”

The repertory theatre class performed “Foster” Friday, May 10


By Andrew Tow

In preparation for the upcoming show, seniors Noah Smith and Jame Ball critique the actors on stage Tuesday, April 30. “It’s extremely surreal to see people saying the lines you’ve written and playing characters you’ve created,” Ball said.

John Lehan, JagWire reporter/photographer

The Repertory Theatre class performed “Foster,” created and directed by seniors Noah Smith and James Ball, Friday, May 10.

Smith originally conceived creating a show after last year’s seniors inspired him, feeling he “could share a message.” He asked Ball for assistance.

“[Ball] said he could help with the project and help my dream come true. I could not be more grateful for that one day he agreed to help me,” Smith said. “Ever since then, I have wanted to make him proud and make life more interesting with this show.”

The partnership presented the show’s first hurdle, as according to Smith, organizational issues sparked conflict.

“[The show] really tested [our] friendship. We have fought because of this show, about the management and schedules,” Smith said. “Since then, we have grown stronger, and I don’t see the friendship dying anytime soon.”

The duo completed most work at home because the creative process wouldn’t always come in class. Ball said this hindered the process; with a normal show, “actors have time to listen to the music or watch the show beforehand.” Consequently, drama teacher Jon Copeland wishes he had enforced deadlines more.

“The creative process sometimes takes time, [but] … there are deadlines,” Copeland said. “In hindsight I should have given them some earlier deadlines.”

New to the show-making business, Ball described it as “a complicated process to learn,” which Smith said came through experience.

“Writing songs with good instrumentals and catchy melodies is difficult,” Smith said. “I learned that through long nights with 5-hour Energys.”

While Smith focused on the show’s music, Ball primarily wrote the script, and also experienced a learning curve.

“It’s not easy to write a script. I learned it’s very time consuming,” Ball said. “Most of my time was spent revisiting characters or scenes that didn’t quite fit. I’m still surprised to this day how I managed to write this script.”

Despite the challenges, the payoff was “extremely surreal,” according to Ball, who “wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.” Smith explained seeing their work performed triggered this payoff.

“The best part is making a melody, hearing it sung by someone else and saying ‘I did that,’” Smith said. “All the work seems, suddenly, worth all the work. It’s unimaginable.”


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