The Secret in the Wings: A look into this year’s fall play


Photo courtesy of Sienna Tan

Playbill for WHS’ Production of The Secret in the Wings

On Nov. 25, the fall play The Secret in the Wings, by Mary Zimmerman, had its opening night at 4 p.m.. Directed by WHS Drama and English Teacher Daniel Devlin, the play is about an ogre (played by senior Joey Gamba) who is left to babysit a little girl named Liv (played by senior Olivia Mazzola). He is telling her bedtime stories which the rest of the cast acts out throughout the play.

The bedtime stories are a collection of lesser-known fairy tales, written by the Brothers Grimm. In every production of the play, the names of the characters change to the name of the actor/actress playing that role. While the idea sounds complicated, the compilation of numerous folk fairy tales comes together at the end, ultimately creating a unique and engaging show.

A lot of time and hard work goes into creating a special show for the audience. Once the cast list gets announced in September, rehearsals are held every day after school until about 6:00 p.m.. As opening night approaches, the rehearsals become more intense, and the cast routinely stays until 7:00 p.m. or some nights even as late as 10:00 p.m.. 

These long hours force the cast to spend a significant amount of time together and strengthen their bond. “The relationships that come from the theater are incredible, and I think it really carries on to our performances,” said Mazzola.

In addition to these scheduled rehearsals, the cast members spend time practicing outside of school. Gamba said, “I try to spend some time nearly every day doing character work like researching and re-reading [the script]. Also, at the beginning of the process, it takes a while to memorize a lot of the lines.”

Despite these long hours and practices, the cast encountered inevitable difficulties of creating such a complex production. Given the intricacy of the show, it takes a long time to interpret and dissect each of the deep psychological themes and hidden messages within the play. “It is our job, as actors, to research, think and analyze every part of the show so that the audience can grasp the importance of the story,” said Mazzola. 

The cast is even more proud of the finished product due to these challenges and encourages people to come see it for themselves. “It really is such a unique show, unlike anything I’ve ever done or seen before, so I think the audience will appreciate its individualism as a production,” said Mazzola. “I personally have had so much fun watching all the quirky characters and bizarre storylines come to life and I think the audience will too.”

cEach fairy tale brings its own special aspect to the show, culminating in a final story tying it all together in the end. Mazzola said, “This show has been one of the most difficult productions I have ever been a part of due to the complicated, obscure nature of the play. Although it has been challenging, it really has been such a blast to work on.”

The play will still be showing tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.. Make sure to show your support for the WHS Theater Department by purchasing tickets online for $12 at