Student Director Produces Arrowhead’s Spring Play


After a week of auditions, and months of rehearsal, Arrowhead’s spring play InLaws, Out-Laws, and Other People Who Should be Shot is two weeks away from hitting the stage.

Tickets can be purchased from the Arrowhead Drama Department’s website, for eight dollars. There will be four performances: Wednesday, May 10th, at 7:00 PM; Friday, May 12th, at 7:00 PM; and Saturday, May 13th, at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM.     

InLaws, Out-Laws, and Other People Who Should be Shot is a comedic play set on Christmas Eve. In this play, a family in New York gathers to celebrate when two robbers come into their home and hold them hostage. With invasive neighbors and a family full of interesting characters, the two New York robbers got themselves into more than they thought they would.  

Maria Bielke, an Arrowhead junior who is playing Mrs. Wakowski, says, “I think that this play is going very well. I believe that the content is super hilarious and will read well with the audience and definitely make them laugh.”

Marilyn Markano, an Arrowhead English teacher and school theater director, is directing the school play with her student director Jackson Calhoun. Calhoun is a senior at Arrowhead High School who has been a frequent actor in Arrowheads plays. Calhoun has often played the lead roles in Arrowhead plays such as Julius Caesar and Broadway company’s musical Addams Family where he played Gomez Addams.

Calhoun says, “The switch from actor to director for me personally has been a challenge. I’ve been so dedicated to acting for the past four years that it feels completely different on the other side. It’s refreshing, however, to help the actors onstage dig into their own characters and creative personas and energies. That’s the most rewarding. Be able to feel like despite the struggle, my impact on the show and its merit has increased with this new role.”

For many of the actors in this performance, the experience has been different with a student director in control.

Gary Griepentrog, an Arrowhead junior who plays Uncle Leo, says, “I love that we have a student director for our shows. Jackson is really great in his role as the student director. I feel comfortable asking him questions, bouncing ideas off of him, and listening to his critiques. The student directors are your classmates so you don’t feel pressured into avoiding confronting them when you have a question. Plus they come up with a lot of ideas for everyone that we can incorporate into the show.”

Bielke says, “I think it’s awesome to have a student director because it gives them a chance to do a show in a different perspective that isn’t acting or being on the crew. It’s also nice having a peer there to help you with lines, or blocking that isn’t another actor because they have a lot of say in the show to.”

Students work together for hours after school to make the play the best they can. With all the rehearsals the cast and crew spend much time together giving them an opportunity to form relationships.

Griepentrog says, “I love doing these shows because you really feel like you’re a part of a family. The cast and directors feel as though they are your brothers and sisters. Just like in a family, you never want to disappoint each other. I think that’s what makes it so cool, that even though nobody would ever judge each other, we all work hard to impress one another.”

With it being Calhoun’s last production for Arrowhead High School’s Drama Department, he says he has been able to reflect upon all he has learned and grasped throughout his high school years.

“As a senior, I’ve definitely left my mark on the drama department. Most of my time over the past four years has gone into this department. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. It’s something that everyone should have an experience with in high school. Not quite to the extent I’ve gone with theatre, but playing a character and meeting the people who also do these shows will add so much more to anyone’s high school experience,” Calhoun says.