Warren Theatre Takes on Theater Fest!

Jaden Cohn, Staff Writer

With the closing production of “The Bad Seed”, Ms. Zimmerman, the director of the show, received a very exciting email. It stated that Warren Theatre’s production of the show, had been asked to perform at Theater Fest!  Well, what is Theater Fest? Theater Fest is a big event where a lot of high schools from Illinois come together to share their passion for the art of theater. This is a huge event for high school students, especially for upperclassmen because they are able to see what life is like on a college campus, visit workshops that can be helpful for theater majors, and even present to representatives.

Theater Fest does present the All-State show, which features two Warren Students: Junior Andrew Schulien in the cast and senior Analisa Cress in the orchestra. This year, the All-State show will be Shrek the Musical. Returning for its 47th year, it is going to be held at University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois.  With all this in mind, the cast of “The Bad Seed” and the Drama Club are excited to make the adventurous journey to Theater Fest.

Ms. Zimmerman was able to provide some of her thoughts when she found out the exciting news. I knew that this production was exceptional. The way the cast portrayed the characters and handled the subject matter was incredible considering the average age of the cast. This is a heavy show, with mature themes. I was proud that the committee acknowledged the level of talent in the cast and crew and celebrated what they created”, she replied.

Ms. Zimmerman and the production team only had four weeks to get the show up and running. After the Saturday night show, the adjudicator met with the cast and crew to talk about their thoughts on the show and things that the show can improve on.

Ms. Zimmerman, a UIUC graduate, exclaimed “I’m excited that the students are able to perform on a college stage as I think sometimes we can get such tunnel vision about our theater and spaces. It will be fun to be in a different venue and in front of a different audience. Plus,   University of Illinois is my alma mater, so I always love going back to the campus.” 

This will be a big step for the cast as they take on a college stage. The “Bad Seed”, however, has not been the only Warren show to reach Theater Fest. In 2019, the main show Anonymous and Warren’s comedy group Giggles n’ Bits were selected to go. 

Freshman Colin Coyle, who is in the cast was able to give some inner information about what he thought. “It’s crazy being a freshman, and being able to have this opportunity. This cast has worked incredibly hard over the last few weeks, and I’m so excited, but also nervous, to go perform on the big stage.” 

Junior Claire Venisnik, the assistant director for the show, had a chance to provide her reaction to why the show made it. “There is so much talent both on and off the stage. It was just so exciting seeing how everything from Front of House, lighting, sound design, and costumes all came together with the actors. I couldn’t be more happier for my friends in the cast for this great opportunity. I’m so excited to go to Theater Fest seeing that it’s my first time going”, she added excitedly. 

The “Bad Seed”  was performed on January, 13th at 7 pm, and January 14th at 11 am. This show is one of the only shows that had been able to perform more than once.


The cast!