HHS seniors taking on drama tradition

Madison Deadman and Madison Deadman

By A&E Editor: Madison Deadman

Every year, Howell High School’s drama department holds a two-act, student led show. This year’s student directors are seniors Tori Poloski and Kathleen Traskos, both of which have always enjoyed the art of theater for one aspect or another and are grateful to have been given the opportunity to take on such a challenge. The Evening of Ives is the title of the entire event written by playwright David Ives, held on Oct 29 and 30 in room K-5. The first act, directed by Poloski is named, The Art of

The casts of the two student-directed plays
The cast of the student-directed play

the Fuge. Act Two, Long Ago and Far Away is directed by Traskos. The acts are somewhat opposite: The Fuge being a comedy filled with innuendoes, while Long Ago is much more dramatic.

Poloski has been involved with school plays and community theater since sixth grade. Her friends inspired her to engage in this hobby and loves that it takes up so much of her time. Some of her on stage credentials include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Oklahoma, Once Upon a Mattress, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid. Last year Poloski was injured in a car accident and was unable to perform in the show, Almost Maine. She then became the stage manager instead. This was the catalyst of Poloski’s interest in working behind the scenes.

“I love being behind the scenes. I was the stage manager but I was also able to help people with their acting skills. Once the show went up, I was so proud of all of my actors. I guess I just like telling people what to do,” Poloski chuckles.

Poloski claims the hardest part of the entire process is casting the right people for the roles. Going into the audition process Poloski had no idea who she was going to choose and based it strictly off of each person’s interpretation of their assigned monologues. Having seen so many talented people, Poloski claimed it was extremely difficult to pick. She is thrilled to start working and for everyone to become a great big family. She wants to incorporate other people’s thoughts and ideas outside of her own.

“I like hearing other people’s opinions. Everyone has their own take on movies and books, and this is my own and I am excited to express that.”

Traskos was only four years old when she first got involved with the Community Theatre of Howell and was cast in the musical Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. She continued to act throughout her childhood and has done a production each year through HHS’ drama department. The King and I, Oliver!, Swamp Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Brigadoon, and Fiddler on the Roof were a few of her favorites.

“My older sister was really involved in the drama department here and she got me excited to do drama at Howell. I was in Beauty and the Beast my freshman year, and after that I was hooked!” Traskos says.

Other than her sister, the HHS drama teacher, Ms. Amanda Malo, has been a big inspiration. Traskos was never planning on directing a show after seeing all the stress and trouble past directors had gone through and she didn’t think she’d be up for it. Once Ms. Malo suggested it, in a spur-of-the-moment decision, Traskos decided to take a chance and delve into it!

“I mean have you seen Malo’s shows? Being a part of them is always extremely fun, and seeing them always leaves you blown away. Howell has a reputation for putting on some pretty amazing productions, and I really wanted to be a part of that,” Traskos says.