Northwest Horizons

Northwest’s Make Believers believe in making an impact

Photos by David Turner as provided by senior Caroline Mast

Photos by David Turner as provided by senior Caroline Mast

Photos by David Turner as provided by senior Caroline Mast

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Creative freedom is a desire common to many of those in the liberal arts realm, but no Northwest association embodies the realities and responsibilities of these freedoms than the Northwest Drama Make Believers. With their award-winning self-written and directed play, “Beloved”, the Make Believers are set to advance to the NCTC State Play Competition yet again.

With the success of a piece, we often forget the way it all started, but because it played such a big role in their lives for near three months, the Make Believer’s chances of disregarding the amount of work put into “Beloved” is highly unlikely.

“The whole writing process definitely had its struggles. There were a lot of tears and I’m surprised no one killed each other,” senior Caroline Mast said. “But by the end, we had all come together and were extremely proud of ourselves.”

Surprisingly, theatre director Abby Turner had never considered the possibilities of her students writing their own play prior to this summer.

“It was a class full of eight or nine girls and there are really no great one-act plays that star a primarily female cast so I was just trying to come up with a different concept that would fit them,” Turner said.

Turner reveals that she pitched an idea to the girls that revolved around a couple where the husband always claimed that he and his wife would have seven kids, yet the wife would say they were to have either one or two. This talk about children, she said, was a conversation she and her husband had recently been having.

“I started thinking about what if [all seven of my potential children] were girls? And what if he died and I’m left to sort of deal with the grieving process?” Turner said.

With this in mind, each character in the play represents a different stage of grief.

Much of the play’s success is derived from the students’ hard work and commitment to their roles. So much so that at competitions and various performances, it is often likely to hit home with many in the audience.

“We had a girl from another school come up to us and was like, ‘hey so my dad died three weeks ago and today is his birthday. Everything you showed were the emotions that I felt when he passed,’” Turner said. “So I told the kids before we got off the bus at the award ceremony at regionals, ‘I don’t care if ‘yall don’t win anything. You’re impacting someone and that has to be the takeaway.’”

Despite Turner’s words of encouragement, “Beloved” won Audience Choice at NCTC’s regional competition and according to Mast, they were all “instantly in tears.”

“I don’t think any of us expected “Beloved” to do as well as it is, but maybe that’s because that’s not really what we cared about. We just wanted to do the best we could and knowing that it impacted or helped people in some way made me even happier than winning,” junior Elonie Quick said.

Photos by David Turner as provided by senior Caroline Mast
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Northwest’s Make Believers believe in making an impact