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The Student News Source of West Branch Area High School

Warrior Watch

The Student News Source of West Branch Area High School

Warrior Watch

The Student News Source of West Branch Area High School

Warrior Watch

WBMS Winter Play: The Secret Garden

West Branch high school students Matt Eirich and Raven Myers direct The Secret Garden, this year’s winter play.
Image/Graphics by Raven Myers
Director Matt Eirich helping middle school actors practice their roles for the upcoming play.

Drama advisor Dee Coundriet appointed high school students Matt Eirich and Raven Myers as student directors of this year’s winter play, The Secret Garden, due to their leadership qualities and the amount of theatre experience they both hold. Last year, they got to feel what it was like to be a student director during the fall show when they were performance technicians.

 “I live and breathe theatre. When Dee offered me the director role, I jumped up and down at the opportunity! I was even more excited to be partnered with Matt in doing so. Matt and I have worked together in the drama department for years and make a great duo. We cannot wait to see how these students will nail their roles and show overall!” stated student director Raven Myers.

“It was exhilarating when I got picked because now I’m able to share my love of theatre with all the younger kids at WB. Raven and I have worked together a lot in the past, and I’m glad she was the other person that was picked to do it.” also expressed Matt Eirich.

The duo will direct this year’s middle school winter play, The Secret Garden. This will be one of the few plays directed by high school students, as this responsibility is not given to students quite often. The premiere dates are December 17th and 18th in the West Branch high school auditorium. The Secret Garden has a huge cast of middle school students, of course, as well as a few high school students, with a little over twenty students in total, all ranging from 5th to 9th grade. One of the many goals is to help the younger students segue into the larger spring musical, voiced 9th-grade actor Keagan Dobo.

The plot of The Secret Garden is about a young girl from India named Mary Lennox, who was orphaned by a cholera outbreak when she was 10 years old. Mary is sent to 20th-century Yorkshire, England, to live with her brooding uncle in his manor (whom she’s never met). There, her personality blossoms among the other manor residents as they bring new life to the long-neglected garden.

The play is based on the novel The Secret Garden, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1911, and chosen because it requires a large female-led cast.  Knowing there would be an abundance of female students auditioning in September caused Mrs. Coutriet and the high school directors to narrow down a play with several female characters.

Student performers have been working very hard since rehearsals began in September. Many hours go into rehearsals, remembering lines and stage directions. “As a performer, nothing feels as good as when you work super hard on a show, and there is a full audience on opening night. It’s a very rewarding feeling,” said  Raven Myers. Tickets will be available to purchase soon, so don’t miss the chance to see our brilliant student actors this December.


Mary- Emily Shingledecker (8th)

Mrs. Medlock- Hilde Lautier (8th)

Colin- David Shirokey (9th)

Archibald- Keagan Dobo (9th)

Nurse Grey- Luna Bressler (7th)

Dr. Craven- Tori Condon (7th) 

Martha- Mercedes Dixson (7th) 

Phil- Ali McCamley (8th) 

Betty- Hannah White (7th)

Jane- Julia Wood (7th)

Mrs. Crawford- Haley Baker (7th) 

Miss Wiggin- Aubree Good (8th) 

Kanchi- Finley O’Hare (6th)

Mrs. Sowerby- Sadie Smeal (7th) 

Lillias- Juliette Hall (8th)

Cook- Hannah Uncles (7th)

Bellboy- Carter Long (7th)

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About the Contributors
Shalee Hoover, Staff Writer
Hey! I’m Shay. I've been a student at West Branch for the past seven years and have enjoyed it. In my free time, I like to spend time with my friends and watch Netflix with my cat Tigger. 
Kamryn Bloom, Staff Writer
Hello,  my name is Kamryn Bloom. I’ve been a student at WB for 10 years. In my free time, I like to talk to my friends and cook. I also like to spend time with all 5 of my cats, Cali, Bandit, Lucky, Slyvester, and Lizzy.
Raven Myers
Raven Myers, Staff Writer
Hi! I’m Raven, a senior at West Branch Area High School. I am president of the drama department, student technician for the high school auditorium, and founder of our ‘Pink Program’ and ‘Warrior Closet.’ I am also a student at the Clearfield County Career and Technology Center, where I study Information Technology. “There’s a million things I haven’t done, but just you wait, just you wait.” - Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton: An American Musical