Student directs full length play for first time in WLHS history

For the first time in West Linn High School history, a student will be directing a play on her own. Kaelyn Rushforth, senior, is directing the play “Eurydice” by Sarah Ruhl, and she will be doing this almost completely on her own.

“I am directing this show by myself,” Rushforth said. “Jessica Murray [Acting teacher] will sit in on a few rehearsals, but other than that, it is just me.”

According to Rushforth and Murray, this is the first time that any student has had this opportunity.

“Kaelyn actually proposed [the idea of directing a play] to me last spring,” Murray said. “I have never had a student direct a full length show.  We do SHORTS every year, with student directors, but this is a much larger task.  She gave me a very prepared, thoughtful, mature pitch and I decided to go for it.”

Rushforth feels honored by this opportunity, as she has been involved with theatre for a large part of her life. According to Murray, Rushforth is very qualified to direct the play.

“We may not have a student do this each year, but I have one who I feel is very capable now,” Murray said. “She has taken all the courses, shown high-quality work and plans to study theatre in college.  I am a big believer in project based learning. I think students learn best by doing.”

Rushforth will be casting and directing the play while Murray helps guide her along the way. Murray is sure that the play will be a success, and she is very excited to see the end result.

“I have no doubt that it will be beautiful,” Murray said. “Kaelyn has an excellent aesthetic. This is educational theatre, “education” first, and this is an incredible learning opportunity for Kaelyn and also for the seven actors who will be cast in this challenging show.”

Both Rushforth and Murray are fans of the chosen play, “Eurydice.” In fact, Rushforth chose the play because of how much it moves her.

“I saw this play performed at State and it moved me to tears,” Rushforth said. “It moves me so much, in fact, that I’ve read it at least 50 times, and there isn’t a time I haven’t cried.”

According to Murray, Rushforth’s love for the material will help to make the play that much better. Along with this, Murray supported the play decision because of how it coincides with her vision of the year.

“I love the play…It completely fits within my theme for the entire theatre season this year—reinventing and reinvigorating the classics,” Murray said. “Kaelyn read many, many plays in preparation for this and finally presented me with this proposal. She is very inspired and excited about the material, and that is essential when directing a play.”

“Eurydice” is a “beautiful, heartbreaking story of love and loss,” Rushforth said. The play will be performed from Dec. 6-8 in the Black Box.