A Look into Southwest Unhinged Theatre

(from the archives)


Sonya Swanson and Sage Yates

Impactful, funny, deception and bittersweet were all words used by this year’s Unhinged Theatre Company when describing their shows. Southwest Unhinged Theatre takes place in the Black Box. It provides students with a unique theater experience that cannot be found at just your average high school.

The Unhinged Theatre is completely student-run, which is a rare thing to find even at the collegiate level, and the process is extensive. Starting in the candidate’s junior year they pair up and make a proposal. 3-4 proposals are approved and those 6-8 students become Unhinged Theatre here at Southwest in their senior year. This unique element of Southwest is an important part of the community.

This year the Black Box is looking at an all-women group of directors, and the shows are quite unique. Tigers Be Still has already wrapped up, but the Southwest community still has the chance to see a guy navigate his night when all three of his fiancees arrive at his house at the same time in Boeing-Boeing, solve a murder mystery in Mouse Trap or watch women navigate life at the homefront during World War II in The Cover of Life. This year’s directors showed that Southwest Theatre has something for everyone.

The future of the Southwest Black Box is dependent upon the students of Southwest. Many of this year’s directors noted that the Black Box is a really effective way of getting new students into theater because of the inviting nature of it. Paige Schuller’s first theater experience was doing Black Box tech and she now directs. When looking at the direction this year’s company was looking to shift Unhinged Theatre into, Kayla Wig said that at their initial meeting they talked about creating a more cohesive theater company that advertises and supports each other’s individual shows. During our discussion of the show she is directing with Laura Weil, Kayla mentioned that the show is completely made up of an ensemble cast. Describing why this choice was made very intentionally Kayla said, “everyone can be important for their own reasons.”

The shows this year in Southwest Unhinged Theatre are all across the board. This year’s directors chose shows that tackle some really difficult, yet important topics. However, to run properly, the directors noted, they need community involvement. Audition! They are always looking for new people and even said it is a much easier way to try out theater at the Black Box than auditioning for the main stage. At the very least come and support the community of talent this school has to offer. The directors have worked really hard to build and support this unique theater community. They bring a lot to the table this school year.