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A Weekend of Firsts for West High School Theatre

KNOXVILLE — For the first time in West High School’s 64-year history, the West High School Theatre Department is hosting a weekend of theatre. They will be presenting two plays on consecutive nights: the student-directed play Steel Magnolias on Friday, December 4th, and award-winning drama Anon(ymous) on Saturday, December 5th.

The southern classic, Steel Magnolias, is directed by senior Ike Hannah, a student in West High’s renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. The play features roles previously held by superstar actors such as Julia Roberts, Sally Field, and Dolly Parton. West’s IB programme is a comprehensive, rigorous program of advanced studies that demands the best from motivated students. Hannah will be the first IB student in Knox County School history to direct a main stage production.

The play follows a group of southern women who are friends with bride-to-be Shelby Eatenton. Shelby and her mother, M’Lynn, meet with their family friend Truvy who prepares their hair for Shelby’s wedding. Accompanied by Truvy’s assistant Annelle, this heart-wrenching drama follows the path of close-knit friends and their friendship through tragedy and joy.

The following night will be the Knoxville premiere of Anon(ymous), a modern-day retelling of Homer’s The Odyssey written by Naomi Iizuka. Directed by West High Theatre Director Lisa Nelson, Anon(ymous) won the New Visions/New Voices award in 2004.

The play follows the story of a young refugee named Anon who traverses the world after losing his mother, from whom he was separated at birth. From one-eyed butchers with a taste for human flesh to young women stuck in a sweatshop, Anon learns that finding safety is harder than it seems.

Both plays feature West High School Theatre students from the Advanced Theatre class.

Both plays will be held in the West High Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. West offers a special discount of $1 off each individual ticket price the second night if you return with your ticket stub.

Published November 20, 2015

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