Junior Ifeanyi Umunna '20 selected and directed "Milk Like Sugar," this year's Upper School student directed play.
On February 7, the Clark Tandon Drama Studio set the stage for the witty, gritty Upper School presentation of "Milk Like Sugar," expertly directed by Ifeanyi Umunna '20.
The powerful production was the result of months of tireless effort by the Winsor junior, whose proposal to direct the play was selected in the spring of 2018 following a rigorous application process.
"I chose "Milk Like Sugar" in part because of the extremely positive experience I had being in a majority black cast in a Belmont Hill production last winter. I wanted to bring something similar to the Winsor community," says Ifeanyi. The play, written by Kirsten Greenidge, tells the story of a 16-year-old girl who makes a pact with her friends that will set her life on an irreversible course.
"Ifeanyi chose the play in order to raise the visibility of stories about people of color, especially young women, who still don't receive enough representation in the arts and media," says performing arts faculty Jeremy Johnson. "I was so thrilled that we could present this show and hope that many audience members felt as though they could see their own stories and experiences reflected back to them."
"I am so proud of Ifeanyi's hard work and dedication to this project and the results showed in the strength of the final performance," adds Mr. Johnson, noting what huge responsibility it is for a student to take on directing a full piece.
"I had a fantastic experience directing the show, and it taught me quite a bit about leadership," adds Ifeanyi.
The Upper School Student Directed Play takes place each year. Interested students propose a script and a clear vision of their production to the Performing Arts department in the spring. Next, they are given some resources, including rehearsal/performance space in the Clark Tandon Drama Studio, a technical director and access to costume stock, and they are asked how they would best utilize these tools. After filling out an application, they sit down with a committee for an interview and the strongest proposal is given support for a winter production the following year, giving the director plenty of time for planning and pre production work.