Category Archives: High School Theatre

Walnut Hills High School Theatre Department Brings 2020 To William Shakespeare’s HAMLET

WHHS_Hamlet 2020-52 snow

Photo by of Mikki Schaffner Photography.

“Though this be madness, yet there is method in it”

Cincinnati, OH- Coming off its historic production of Urinetown, which garnered 19 Cappie awards last season, the Walnut Hills High School Theatre Department will now tackle perhaps the most challenging play of all time in the most challenging of circumstances.

HAMLET is being produced and filmed in the Walnut Hills High School Auditorium, and the recording will be available to the public for On Demand Streaming beginning November 20th.  Actors and crew are masked, and are following strict COVID-19 guidelines while filming.

“Conceptually, we’re bringing 2020 into the world of HAMLET,” says director Mike Sherman.  “Our  production is set now during the pandemic, as well all our political turmoil. Our philosophy was by making 2020 part of the show, we don’t have to pretend to ignore it, and neither does our audience.  In a sense, we’re all Hamlet right now- constantly bombarded with grief, overstimulated and overloaded with information, and left wondering whether or not to take action about anything. We’ve also gender flipped multiple roles to reflect a more contemporary feel.  Making some of these traditional male roles female, especially Polonus and Laertes, has given a lot of the show new life and meaning.”

On Demand Streaming begins 11/20 and runs through December 31.  Ticket sales for the show will begin on Monday, November 2.  Streaming Passes are $10 (service fees apply). No live audience will be permitted for performances.  Tickets can be purchased through the Walnut Hills High School Theatre Department Website:

This production is graciously sponsored by the Walnut Hills High School Class of 1964 Performing Arts Fund.

About the show:
Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, is visited by the ghost of his father who reveals that Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, is responsible for his father’s murder. Hamlet then sets down a path of madness and revenge against Claudius, who is now the king and married to Hamlet’s mother. Along the way, Hamlet begins to question his own sanity and discovers that all actions, and inactions, have consequences.

WHHS_Hamlet 2020-43

Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Featuring Jack Giglia as Hamlet, Owen Cummings as Claudius, Alli Robertson as Gertrude, Olivia Busche as Ophelia, Sarah Mansfield as Polonius, Emma Dalton as Laertes, Brando Donaldson as Horatio, Cam Hogue as Rosencrantz, Nina Roberto as Guildenstern, Sophie Christian as Francisco/Reynaldo, Megan Graeler as Marcellus / Servant, Avery Frank as Bernardo / Sailor, Wolf Singer as The Ghost / Fortinbras’ Captain, Lily Canter as Voltimand / First Gravedigger, Josie Leanza as Cornelius / Second Gravedigger, Nate Caudill as Player King / Priest, Lila Herzig as Player Queen / British Ambassador, Olivia Hufford as Third Player / Gentlewoman, Maxwell Nolan as Messenger / Osric, and Joanna Lin as Fortinbras. Understudies include Clare Graff, Chloe Goodman, Emma Herzig, Loretta Rubin, Emma Smith, Kyra Doty, Sidney Harris, and Alejandra Frecker.

Directed by Mike Sherman

  • Technical Director: Helen A. Raymond-Goers
  • Stage Manager: Lily Jones
  • Assistant Stage Manager: Grace Allen
  • Costume Designers: Nicole Domoe and Sena Segbefia
  • Lighting Designer: JP Oberst
  • Makeup Designer: Nadyaa Betts
  • Props Designer: Gabby Burns
  • Sound Designer: John Arora

Leave a comment

Filed under High School Theatre, Press Releases

Spring Musical is an Impossible Dream Made Possible at Anderson High School

AHS_MOLM_Emma Moulas (sm)

Freshman Emma Moulas is a member of the Ensemble of MAN OF LA MANCHA the AHS Spring Musical that will premiere on YouTube in May.

AHS Spring Musical is an Impossible Dream Made Possible

The students of Anderson Theatre began rehearsals in February for this year’s 57th Spring Musical, “Man of La Mancha.” The most famous song from this musical is “The Impossible Dream,” and that is what the show seemed to become when schools were shut down in mid March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Theatre Teacher and Director Chad Weddle was in his Studio Theatre class when the announcement was made to the school. At first, like the students around him, he panicked. “Then I sat down, took a breath, looked around the room, and thought, “we can still do this. I don’t know how yet, but with these kids, I know we will find a way.’”

As the school closure extended into May, and then to the end of the school year, High Schools and Theatre companies throughout the Cincinnati area began cancelling their productions. Anderson High School, however, had a resource most other organizations did not: a strong Film Department.

“The Anderson High School Spring Musical has been a cornerstone of our community for decades,” says Mr. Weddle. “I felt a responsibility to the thousands of past FHSD students who had carried on the tradition, as well as to my current students—over 120 of them in cast and crew.

“While so many school events, competitions, the prom, concerts, were being cancelled—we knew that if we could do this safely, then we needed to do it, for the emotional health of the students,” Mr. Weddle explained.

Mr. Weddle’s plan to leverage the skills his students had gained in Film classes evolved over the weeks, adapting to new restrictions and guidelines, always with the safety of the students a high priority. It is now complete, and the 57th Spring Musical will be presented as a YouTube Film Premiere event, likely in the final weeks of May.

Paige Resor, a Senior who was cast as Aldonza, says she is very grateful to Mr. Weddle and all the participating students. “Being a senior is so very hard. And I think it’s really great that we found a way to do this, and that everyone is so supportive. I’ve never been a part of a cast who worked so hard for each other.”

Each actor had to create a mini film studio in their home, using only equipment and materials they already had available. Student crew members gave feedback and advice, helping their friends find and solve problems, but the burden was on the actors to get things right. While not every student involved in the original production felt they could continue, over 100 are still contributing to the performance in some fashion.

“I’m not a technician,” admitted Nick Gundrum, a Sophomore who plays one of the Muleteers. “But it started to be fun, something to do. I made my own tripod, and it was fun. It’s gonna be awesome to have that final product we can all look back on. We’ll be able to watch it in the future with everyone and feel like we were a part of something.”

Caitlin Walsh is a Senior and a Student Director for the show. She is pleased with the hard work done by all the students. “It’s not necessarily the easiest thing we have done; it’s a lot to ask of everyone. But we all need that bit of creative spontaneity…that excitement we get from being in Theatre.”

“I am very excited to do this,” says Tommy Sanders, a Junior playing Dr. Carrasco. “With so many other uncertainties and cancellations, it means a lot. While I may not know about this problem or that problem, and I don’t even know when I’ll get out of my house, I do know I have this. I have this opportunity right here.”

AHS_MOLM_Braden Perry (sm)

Braden Perry is a Junior at AHS and plays Anselmo, a Muleteer, in Anderson Theatre’s production of MAN OF LA MANCHA.

Braden Perry, a Junior playing another Muleteer, knows this will have a positive effect on the community, as well. “We’re talking about a tradition where the entire southwest part of Ohio has is interested in what we are putting on,” he says. “If we can impact one person, I think this whole process is worth it.”

“I appreciate everything Mr. Weddle is doing for us, how he’s sticking with the show,” says Stella Scheidler, who plays the Barber. “Theatre is what’s getting us through this.”

“I believe in these students, every one of them.” says Mr. Weddle. “Theatre is partly about the process. Keeping the show alive is our way to continue to spend time together and support one another.”

Mr. Weddle adds, “It’ll be something the students can talk about in years to come, when someone asks them what they did during the quarantine, what happened. When we look down the road we’ll be able to tell them the story of how we were able to come together and create something remarkable. This is what we do. We create together. That’s what we do.”

“Man of La Mancha” will be presented to the public online, free of charge, some time in late May as a YouTube Premiere. For more information, including ways you can donate to the Anderson Theatre department to offset their costs and support future productions, visit The confirmed date of the Premiere will be posted there and on the Anderson Theatre Facebook page. To view more AHS student film work, including the three short films of their 2020 Film Festival, visit the Anderson Film YouTube Channel.

Leave a comment

Filed under High School Theatre, Press Releases

Third Annual Film Festival at Anderson High School

AHS_Riverside 1

Anderson High School Film students began shooting for the Film Festival in the Fall. This is for a scene in THE RIVER’S EDGE.

In light of the current Stay-at-Home directive, Anderson Theatre & Film will be using YouTube Premiere to present the 2020 Film Festival on Friday, April 24th, beginning at 7:00 pm.

Original Press Release below

On March 27 and 28, student films will once again take center stage at Anderson High School. The young Film Department at AHS, in collaboration with the AHS Symphony Orchestra, will present three short films that are almost entirely student created.

The scripts were written by Seniors Emily Ivanov, Caitlin Walsh, Jack Chandler, and Riley Orth, and the musical score for each film was composed by Senior Ian Baker. The actors and filmmakers are all students, and each night the score will be played live by the AHS Symphony Orchestra students.

AHS_Tangled 1

On-screen talent for the Film Festival includes Senior Mason Weber as Isaac and Senior Riley Orth as Sean in TANGLED LINE.

Film Teacher Chad Weddle, who founded the Film department in 2016, directed each of the three films, and says that they offer something special for local audiences. “You won’t be watching students perform other people’s work, you’ll be witnessing their own very personal stories, their own creative process. This program allows the students to truly share their voice with the community.”

“With three different films on the ticket,” says Orchestra Director Felipe Morales-Torres,  “audiences are guaranteed to hear a wonderful variety of original music, from lush fantasy soundtracks to somber folk melodies and dreamy mechanical inventions.”

AHS_Dream 1

The short film STORIES FROM THE DREAMSCAPE required surreal, dreamlike sequences that challenged the student filmmakers.

This is Mr. Morales-Torres’ second year working with the Department, and he appreciates the challenge this format brings to his music students. “It is remarkable to watch them perform in sync with the film, but knowing that everything was created by students is all the more impressive.”

The three short films are distinct, but Mr. Weddle points out that they share a common theme. “The films deal with loss, abuse, peer pressure, all things that families throughout society face every day. The student authors do not shy away from these issues, but rather meet them head on. Every audience member will see or hear something during the evening that will resonate deeply with them.”

Tickets to each showing are $10. Seating is reserved, and tickets can be purchased in advance at, or at the door each night. Box office opens at 6:15 and the films begin at 7:00.

AHS_Film Festival 20

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, High School Theatre

Open House Event for All School Theater on March 5

AC_All School Theatre Open House

Many schools across Hamilton County have reduced or lost their theater programs due to budget cuts. To support schools and students, ArtsConnect, a non-profit arts organization of Springfield Township, has partnered with Dramakinetics and Mt Healthy School District with funding from The Ohio Arts Council to bring an All School Community Theater Program to our region. This program gives a unique opportunity to area students.

Students between the ages of 10-17 from any school can have the opportunity to be a part of a live community theater production. ArtsConnect and Dramakinetics will kick off this exciting project with an All School Theater Open House event on Thursday, March 5th at 6:30 p.m. at the Mt Healthy High School cafeteria. (Please enter through the main door and arrive no later than 6:30 p.m.)

The Open House will be an opportunity for students to learn more about the project, auditions and schedule. Students will have a pizza dinner provided and will quickly get to know one another through fun improv theater games. Unique to this project, the students will actually choose the show they want to be a part of at the Theater Open House event. There will be three choices and the opportunity to vote via secret ballot. The final show selection will be revealed at the Open House.

Auditions for the selected show will be held Sunday, April 5th beginning at 1:30 p.m. and Tuesday, April 7th, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Mt Healthy Jr/Sr High School auditorium. (Dates subject to change. Please see to confirm the audition schedule.)

Rehearsals will run twice a week in the evenings, May 18 – June 5th. Once school is out for the summer, rehearsals will run three days a week, 9-11 a.m. Three performances will be held at the Mt Healthy Theater, June 26th and 27th.

Cast fees will be $100 per student and crew fees will be $50 per student. Students are not required to participate in the Open House Event to be in the show, however are highly encouraged to do so. A limited number of scholarships are available to students who demonstrate a financial need. Scholarship applications are due no later than May 18th. Each scholarship approved covers 50% of the cost. (Cast $50, Crew $25) APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP HERE.

ArtsConnect is actively seeking parent and college students interested in theater as volunteers to assist with the production. A background check will be conducted with volunteers. Volunteers can SIGN UP ONLINE AT

For more information on the Open House or the All School Theater Project, call ArtsConnect at 513.522.2108.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Family-Friendly, High School Theatre, Press Releases

Auditions Announced for PUFFS and NEWSIES at Commonwealth Artist Student Theatre


Here is a message from our Artistic Director, Jason Burgess, about auditions and crew interviews for tomorrow.

“Greetings Auditionees and Interviewees: I wanted to give you an update on auditions and crew interviews for tomorrow, Saturday, March 14th.

Both events WILL be taking place. Because these events are basically individual to individual interaction events, we feel safe and confident continuing them. We will be practicing “social distancing” of trying to remain 6 feet away from each other and advise others to do the same.

If you are not confident in this approach and would prefer to submit a video audition, then we are completely fine with this. You may email us a video audition by 5pm on Saturday, March 14th to If you are unable to meet this deadline for the video submission, please email us and let us know and we might be able to make other accommodations.

As far as crew interviews are concerned, if you are not confident in this approach and would prefer to do a phone interview, we are completely fine with this. Please email us at and we will set up a time to do a phone interview with you.

As far as callbacks are concerned for PUFFS and NEWSIES, the production teams are working right now to figure everything out and we will have a definitive plan by the end of auditions tomorrow, Saturday, March 14th. At this moment, we plan on still holding callbacks next Saturday and posting all cast and crew lists on Tuesday, March 31st.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns at all, please do not hesitate to reach out and email us at

Jason Burgess
Artistic Director, CAST

March 8 from 6-9:30pm

March 14 from 2-5pm

Highlands High School – 2400 Memorial Pkwy, Fort Thomas, KY 41075

Incoming high school freshman through graduated high school seniors.

PUFFS running July 3-12 at The Carnegie

  • Bring a memorized 45 second to 1 minute comedic monologue.

NEWSIES running July 17-26 at Highlands High School

  • Bring a memorized 45 second to 1 minute monologue and 32 measures of music from a Broadway show. Also, you need to learn the dance audition which will be published shortly.

If you are auditioning for both, please cater your memorized monologue towards PUFFS and your song towards NEWSIES. Also, you need to learn the dance audition which will be published shortly.

Please make sure to fill in an audition form which can be found here. Please fill in the audition form completely as well as including all schedule conflicts. Please bring your resume and headshot to your audition time if you have one.  Please show up for the auditions on time and ready to go. Also, remember to learn the dance audition before you arrive. The dance audition which will be published shortly. There will be a voluntary dance audition workshop/brush-up for 30 minutes prior to auditions starting at 5:30pm.

Callbacks for PUFFS will be held on Saturday, March 21st from 9am-Noon

Callbacks for NEWSIES will be held on Saturday, March 21st from 6-9pm

Also interviewing for crew positions.

Please visit the official site audition page for more information and links to forms and other information.


Leave a comment

Filed under Auditions, Family-Friendly, High School Theatre