Witehall theatre students get down to work

Messenger photos by Dianne Garrett
Hamming it up on the stage at Whitehall Yearling High School are theatre students and friends who cleaned out the "green room,"which was packed with years of old props and paint from past theatre productions.  Sept. 15 and 16 were spent sorting and doing inventory for items that would be kept for future shows.  Pictured are Jess Sedlock, front in chair (2002).  Row 2: Jake Russell, Amy Nash and Rachel Fiatoa.  In back are Director Dan Nash, Mitchell Harper, Joan Sippola (teacher), David Coy, Kim Person (National Honor Society volunteer), Michael McKee (2007), Jessica Knight and Amber Eck.
Dan Nash reunites with former teacher and mentor, Janice Plank, on the stage of Whitehall Yearling High School theatre.  The 2002 graduate has been hired part-time to co-direct the school’s fall plays and spring musicals.  Plank now lives in Los Angeles, and recently came home to visit Nash and meet with the theater students and staff offering some guidance and insight.

It ain’t all glamour and bright lights.

Whitehall Yearling High School theatre students and friends rolled up their sleeves and dug in to clean out the "green room"  Sept. 15 and 16 as newly hired part-time director Dan Nash motivated his students to take ownership of their theatre space.  

Some pizza didn’t hurt either.  They actually had a great time sorting through old props and costumes.   For some who had graduated in previous years, it was a little walk down Memory Lane.

Earlier in the week, former director and art teacher Janice Plank flew from her Los Angeles home to visit Nash and the theatre department.  She offered advice and assistance, and had some fun hanging out with former students and new members of the group.

Cleaning out the room was not an easy task.  After all was sorted, some things were donated, others trashed.  

What remained was checked, cleaned, categorized and put away neatly.

All students said they had a good time volunteering their time.  It gave them a time to bond with new cast members and Nash.  

The fall show will be "Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten," and will be presented the weekend of Nov. 9. More details about the production will follow at a later date.

Plank is proud of the fact that Nash, her former student from the Class of 2002, has returned to his alma mater.  She said that it means a lot for a teacher to see a student grow up and evolve, especially when they want to come back home.


Teacher Joan Sippola was also on hand to help with the weekend project.  She and her three boxers often appear in the high school productions, and she assists in the theatre department.


Plank recently was assistant director for a play by actor/writer Paul Ben-Victor in Los Angeles.  The play has closed, but there is buzz that it may end up on Broadway in the future.  She began teaching theatre part-time this month at a private grade school in the Valley.

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