The Wolves’ fall Fine Arts season is packed full of entertainment on the field, in the classrooms and on the stage. Every year Wesleyan Fine Arts surprises its audience with new shows, artwork, music and more, and this year may be the best one yet.
Director of Fine Arts Meg Foster thinks the uniqueness and variety of the programming this year will be full of crowd pleasers, and one new element she is excited about is the fall high school shows, 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse and 10 Ways to Survive The End of the World. “The fall play is back in true one-act form. Last year it was a musical, and this year [it] is two one-act plays put together. It’s going to be a comedy,” Foster said. The inspiration behind this intriguing play was to bring both comedy and a seasonal theme to the fall. The play features zombies and the apocalypse, which is very fitting for its show dates of Oct. 24, 25 and 26. There are approximately thirty students involved in the play, with around three to six lead roles per play.
Sophomore Rylie Jones, actress and chapel/chorus singer, plays one of the lead roles in the high school play. Jones stated, “I am Pippa, one of the four ‘survivors.’ I have to go through ten different scenarios to show how to survive, but who knows if I’ll survive? The only way to figure out is to see this exciting drama.” When asked if she could describe the play in one word, Jones said, “Hilarious! Most of the scenarios are not realistic in any way and watching myself and the other survivors trying to survive them can be pretty humorous. The characters represent different stereotypes, so that can be funny and relatable, too.” This performance is fitting for all ages according to Jones, as there are animal characters that younger kids will enjoy, as well as mature humor for older audience members. Foster said that the Fine Arts Department strives to choose a balance of well-known and newer plays with different ideas and themes into their setlist to provide both familiarity as well as new and exciting stories.
An example of a diverse show is the middle school play this fall, Wagon Wheels a-Rollin’. Foster shared that a priority when choosing an appropriate middle school show is that is must fit into Lencke Theater, located on the second floor of the Fine Arts building. The department also strives for an interesting story that contains a Biblical “nugget” that the audience can watch and learn something valuable. Steve Broyles and Stephanie Simmons both include a biblical message in their pamphlet’s editor’s notes, which tie back to their plays.
Riley Thomson, a 5th grade actress in the middle school play, plays a Saloon Girl in Wagon Wheels a-Rollin’. Thomson said, “This is my first show. I usually have practice on weekdays from 3:20 to 5:15 p.m. I will be acting in the show 3 times [show] week, and I am very excited to be performing!” Thomson said that this fun play is not super serious, and that “it will definitely make people laugh!”
The middle and high school plays are not the only bright spots of the fine arts schedule this year. Foster said the marching band’s halftime show is a “Mixtape-Rewind,” and the band will have more freedom to be focused on pleasing the Wesleyan audience since they have decided to forego their usual competition schedule this year. Incorporating hits from recognizable fan-favorites such as Michael Jackson, the show is sure to be exciting and memorable.
The Christian Life theme is creatively incorporated into many aspects of Fine Arts, especially in the middle and high school chorus song selection. Foster said, “We choose songs for the chorus concerts that can have a tug on the Christian Life theme.” This year’s theme, Stories of the Kingdom, is also used in the art classes offered and used for a fundraiser through Kids Kreations, which allows the students’ art to be purchased by friends and family. Another new aspect of this year’s Fine Arts program is the pop-up Alumni art exhibit. Foster said, “Last year we did a faculty art exhibit, and then this year it is an alumni art exhibit, and it’s a great way to feature other artists that have a strong connection to the school.” Through this exhibit, students are shown that graduates from Wesleyan can go on to do great and creative things after their time at Wesleyan.
Each year, Wesleyan School’s innovative and creative Fine Arts program produces a fun, festive and original program for all of Wesleyan to enjoy. In fall of 2019, the Fine Arts program consists of an exciting two-act high school play, a funny western middle school play, a fresh theme for marching band and much more. Using both originality and creativity, the Fine Arts program of fall 2019 is sure to be fantastic.