April 25, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 1

MLHS stage reborn with 'Earnest' production

A showcase of student talent was on display at Medical Lake High School last weekend.

James Eik
Janine Warrington directed the student-produced play “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Senior Janine Warrington served as the creative force behind an abridged version of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” which concluded a three-night run this past Sunday.

Warrington, who has been involved in theater for the past 12 years, said she received great instruction from former longtime EWU theater instructor Don McLaughlin. She even attended theater camps, including the Stage Door to the Future camp at EWU, where she received instruction under current EWU theater teachers Jeff Sanders and Sara Goff.

A couple of years ago, student plans to direct “Earnest” were developed. The show, however, never made it to the stage, making it easy for Warrington to pick it up and bring it to life once more.

“I just took the same show that they were going to do and went with it,” she said.

The lessons learned at the various camps she attended went right into the production of “Earnest,” helping to bring classroom material to life.

“As I was directing, there would be days where he (McLaughlin) was standing on my shoulder saying ‘Hey, remember when I told you this, this is what they need to do,’” Warrington said. “So he was directing through me a lot of the time.”

Casting for the production began in late February, which meant there was only around a two-month window for rehearsals, which took place around three to four times each week. That’s where the abridged version of the play came in handy.

“I wish we could have had longer because, for one, there are a lot of things in the longer script that I really like that weren’t in it. Also, we could have polished more because the actors’ potential is just so much more than we could completely harness,” Warrington said. “Plus I’m just going to miss it.”

Warrington hadn’t originally planned to step into the role of director. Instead, at the start of the school year, she made it a goal to help the after school drama program.

“I don’t think at the beginning of the year I was planning on doing a full-scale production,” she said. “But I’m really glad it happened that way.”

Directing was a learning experience for the high school senior. She said learning to enforce rehearsal attendance and keeping the naturally funny cast focused were among the more difficult elements of the play’s preparation.

“Even though it was stressful and tiresome, it was well worth it,” she said.

For her efforts, Warrington has earned big accolades from school faculty as well as her cast and crew.

“Janine stepped up in a big way,” theater adviser Robyn Urhausen said. “She got the ball rolling. She directed, cast and designed everything.”

To see production photos, go to www.cheneyfreepress.com.

James Eik can be reached at james@cheneyfreepress.com.

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