“Tracks” – One Heck of a Fun Ride!


Jacob Markham, Reporter

As many of you have probably seen or heard around the school, the Tracks play was just performed by our Union Theater club. Getting to go to the play was amazing, and it was so fun to see. To summarize it for those who were unable to go, Tracks is a play about a group of people who meet in a subway and are all from very different cities and backgrounds. But, something seems quite off to all of them… Watch as they try to figure out what is happening, and how to escape a subway.

Talking to the actors, I could tell anyone and everyone involved put a lot of effort into this and they were all quite excited about their performance. I talked to some of the actors and stagehands. Here is what they had to say: 

My first conversation was with Wil Buckingham and Arsen Maas, who are both backstage technicians. When asking them about their roles in this production, I discovered that Wil managed and oversaw almost the entire backstage production. When asked about the stress given due to all of the work required, Wil gave credit to their makeup and costume leads, who are Ace and Cassidy, whom they appreciate for being especially helpful during this production. Arsen was backstage hand left and mentioned how crucially important they are to the performance of the show, and talking to them, I could tell that they meant this. 

When I prompted Wil and Arsen about their favorite part of the performance, Wil talked about how one of the characters, a homeless girl, had a mental breakdown in a scene, and the actor was great at portraying this onstage. The entire scene played out well. Arsen mentioned a scene that included one girl spelling the word “dichotomy,” and they just loved how well that was portrayed. 

Finally, I asked them what they do to prepare, and if they have any “rituals” before they have a performance. Wil talked about having to make sure all make-up brushes and everything are prepped. Arsen cryptically mentioned that backstage has very little to do backstage during the performance. They both talked about their rituals, and Wil talked about being first there, to set things up, and Arsen mentioned something called “Secret Friend.” It is a Secret Santa sort of activity, but you get your person a gift before every show. The gift-giver is revealed at the very last show. 

I also talked to Ryan and Willow, who are, respectively, the Professor and the Businesswoman. They mentioned their favorite part, which was when the Professor talked about his divorce and the Businesswoman told him of the affair with his wife. Ryan said his #1 tradition before a performance is to “blast Taylor Swift out of his headphones” and dance around. Willow said that she always gets a lot of nervous energy before a play, and she shakes her limbs to get out that nervous energy. Ryan and Willow both joined theater after their families suggested it to them when they came to high school, and they ended up loving it. They both agreed that if anyone even thinks about joining, they should try it. They said it’s a great safe space that is open to everyone. 

Even after asking all of these questions to everyone above, I had some extra time left over, and Ryan and Willow talked about how their director, Katie Rich, did a great job with this play and gave plenty of praise and credit to her. They talked about how theater is like one big family, and how they share emotions like a family would. I thanked them for their time and then got to talk to Katie Rich, the director of the play, and this is what she had to say: 

She mentioned how when she reads a script, she can see how things will come together, and what will need to happen. She talked about having to break the script into chunks for everyone so it’s easier to practice and then will make a list of everything that she needs to do, and just make a good checklist/to-do list. When she picks a play, she says she reads at least three or four times — as many as she needs! She begins with around twelve to fifteen plays and narrows it down from there. She says that this play had been part of her curriculum for a while and that it was cool to finally act it out. 

A week later, the day before the first show, I went and saw everyone, and got to hang out for a little while. It was fun seeing all of the actors being in character and meeting one another “for the first time.” It was really interesting to see them mix, and just get rid of their nerves. They also invited me to go see the play, which was an opportunity I could not pass up. 

I decided to go to the Friday night show, and it was very exciting to watch. My grandpa, Al, decided to join me as well, and we were allowed to go see it together. We were only able to stay a short while since he was visiting and had to drive home the next day. But, what an amazing experience even that short while was. We stayed for most of the first half, and it was extremely hard to pull myself away. There were some great lines, and the acting was on edge. It was a great experience, and the backstage and props teams I must applaud. The set looked amazing, and I wish I could have gone up to check it out. 

After talking to everyone and getting a mere glimpse of their talent, I could truly tell that this would be a great environment for almost anyone, and as Ryan and Willow said, anyone and everyone should try out for their next and upcoming play, “Puffs.” This play called “Puffs” is a “huge SNL skit” about Harry Potter, and they mentioned how crazy and hilarious it will be. It is about the Hufflepuff house and is quite a spectacular performance. Auditions are open to anyone and everyone, and I may even audition, so I would recommend that everyone should try out regardless of their talent or skill level!