By Leah Levert
Evelyn Evelyn, the latest show playing at North Springs, shocks audiences with daring directorial choices by senior Henry Ballard, a 4-year participant in NSCHS’ theatre department.
Ballard’s ideas for Evelyn Evelyn derived from his interest in Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley musical album, Evelyn Evelyn. The album was a guideline for the script, which was a little dark to say the least. Despite the show’s creepy feel, the ominous mood of the show is what makes it great. “It’s good that it’s so shocking,” said Ballard. “The shocking elements can only help it.”
North Springs’ theatre department is renowned for challenging what is commonly expected from high school theatre productions, and Evelyn Evelyn did not disappoint.
Conception of the show began over the summer after Ballard first heard the album. The process was tedious for Ballard. He had to call Amanda and Jason to receive rights and permission for the show. He also needed permission from the head of the theatre department, Mr. Aikens. Ballard “had to remind Aikens a million times to listen to it [the album].”
Despite Aikens’ support of the show, he retired from teaching this year before show production began. Ballard was taught the fundamentals of theatre from Aikens for the first 3 years of his career. Working with the new department head, Mr. Young, was a new experience for Ballard, “They’re different people with different styles teaching.”
This did not hold the student-director back. “The hardest part of making the show was working with other people’s vision,” said Ballard. “Collab[oration] is the biggest part of theatre; it can also be the hardest part.”
Luckily for Ballard, he had a cast of people that he found to be “malleable” and “could change on a dime”. These casting traits especially helped because “the script itself changed over the rehearsal process.”
The loyalty of the cast members was also tested as this year’s crippling snow storm forced two of the last three performances of the show to be cancelled. Despite the hazardous weather, the cast and crew continued with their last show on Saturday, with one of their largest turnouts of the shows’ duration.