Theatre department performs Hewlett’s InnerSolar

Alayna Glover, Reporter

On January 14- 16, InnerSolar premiered at the Clear Creek Intermediate teaching theatre. InnerSolar is about the planets personified as humans, each representing different issues and perspectives.

The show revolved around  the Earth, played by Zoie Ellis, narrating the stories of each of the  plants in our solar system. One audience member was chosen to be the sun and got to select which planet’s story came next.

“Picking  the sun was definitely the best part because you see the person’s face light up and they go ‘Me? Oh no way. And now I have to go down there?’ It was  pretty funny seeing an audience member all flustered   for a moment,” Ellis said.

Each of the planets had an unique, yet very human story. For example, the story of Saturn, played by Sierra Boudreaux,  involves a couple getting ready to go out on a date.

InnerSolar  was an overall amazing experience,” Boudreaux said. “Mainly because Mr. Hewlett wrote and directed the play, like he did for winter show my freshman year. Seeing his words come to life was just as fun as performing.”

As both director and writer of the show, Clear Creek Theatre Department head Mr. Hewlett faced new challenges, in part because of the construction that restricted use of the main auditorium.

“I wanted to find a way to use the CCI space in an interesting way. We knew we’d have to perform there this year because of construction, and I already had an idea of using the planets as metaphors as parts of human experiences and human life,” director and writer Bradley Hewlett said.  He explained how he saw the stage at CCI and how it’s set up much like a circle, “so we now have an audience that’s literally an orbit around our actors.”

This is the third time Mr. Hewlett has written a show staged here at Creek, but this is the first one that’s a full-length play.

“In a way, it’s more challenging because when you’re writing you have a certain vision on how its going to turn out, but then as a director, I have to ignore that vision a little bit and see where the actors and the technicians are going to take it,” Mr. Hewlett said. “So, it’s almost like I’ve got this writer part of my brain sitting on my shoulder kind of watching how it’s playing out, but trying not to interfere. [And then there’s] this director side of my brain that’s making the choices and trying to ignore the writer side because as a director, I have to take the direction the actors and crew are taking.”

The crew took the words that Mr. Hewlett imagined and made the show come to life, working together and staying after school for long hours.

“Working backstage is stressful,” says co-head of costume, Lillian Welborn. “But it’s also really fun and a great learning experience.”

Mr. Samson, the technical director, handles everything that happens backstage. He’s the one that makes sure Mr. Hewlett’s vision is made into reality correctly and smoothly.

“Sometimes it can be challenging, but it’s very rewarding to be able to express your creative side,” says Samson. He works hands-on with the crew everyday.

“Everyone has such special, unique qualities and talents that are in different disciplines of tech that working with the crew is always a surprise to see who’s going to flourish and come up with new talent. So, it’s sort of revitalizing; it ignites my passion for the art over and over.”

Mr. Samson and Mr. Hewlett have worked together many times in the past.

“I think Mr. Hewlett and myself work very well together. He does a lot of big planning for mass details, and I do a lot of small planning for little details. We try to make it a very efficient and exciting process.”

Because this is a smaller show, the whole cast has bonded.

“[The most exciting part is] seeing the actors working on new characters and making these scenes come to life,” says Mr. Samson, “ and then getting to see these aesthetics the technicians prepare so long to build, creating the world the actors live in.”