West Branch Performing Arts Welcomes a New Face as Director

A brief introduction to the West Branch drama department’s new director, Lara Sharpless.
A headshot of the new director of the West Branch Drama Department, Lara Sharpless.
A headshot of the new director of the West Branch Drama Department, Lara Sharpless.
Image/Graphics by Lara Sharpless

Times have been tumultuous for the West Branch Drama Department. After the performance of Mamma Mia last year, the previous director had stepped down and the drama department had been without a director since. Thankfully, someone with years of experience and expertise came in to elevate the drama department to new heights. That person is Ms. Lara Sharpless.

Lara has an extensive history in performing arts. She had attended college to learn about theater and the many intricacies of directing. After college, she directed shows at the YMCA’s Summer Youth Theater. She’s been in the world of performing arts for a while and is the perfect leader for our blooming drama department. Lara herself said “I had been asked to apply, but wasn’t at a place where I could. When I heard that the program might not happen if there wasn’t a director, I knew I had to apply. I’ve rebuilt the theatre program at the YMCA, so rescuing a program is not new for me. I knew the kids at WB needed someone, and I wanted to be that person,” when asked why she applied. Her determination to keep our program alive makes many of our students excited to have her working with them.

The upcoming musical that she had chosen to do is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. While there are many versions of this musical that exist, the version that was chosen is the newest and has the most interesting and engaging music. When asked why she picked this particular show, Lara said “Our principal Mrs. O’Hare suggested it since the new Wonka movie came out. Once I saw there was a new version of the musical, I knew it would be a great option!”

Lara is very excited to be working with the talent of the West Branch Drama Department. She has big plans for the future of the program and can’t wait to continue working with them!

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