Photos by Steve Shay
Explorer West students performed "Explorer West Middle School's One Act Festival" Thursday, in the school gym. Pictured left is award-winning playwright Finnley Kafer, a 7th grade student who lives in West Seattle. Performers, left-right, 6th graders Emily Efird, Burgin Utaski, & Annie Means, all of West Seattle are in Kafer's play. CLICK ON PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE

SLIDESHOW: Explorer West students wrote & performed in short plays April 12

David Kelly, Explorer West''s drama teacher, presented "Explorer West Middle School's One Act Festival" Thursday, April 12, in the school gym.

This year's program is different as it features original, one act plays written by the 7th grade students. In addition to writing and acting in the plays, the EW students are again responsible for the costumes, props, sets, assistant directing, and other crew responsibilities.

One highlight, Explorer West Middle School worked with ACT Theatre in their Young Playwrights Program (YPP) as part of their drama curriculum. Across Seattle, 400 students submitted plays hoping they'd be produced at ACT Theatre.

SLIDESHOW: Click on above photo to see more

Explorer West was one of two middle schools invited to participate in a mostly high school-based contest with 16 schools in Puget Sound, the Young Playwrights Festival. At the YPP Celebration Event on Monday (12/12/11), the top 47 plays were honored with an honorable mention and eight were selected for a full production at ACT Theatre.

Winning in the top eight was Explorer West student Finnley Kafer for her play, “The Trial of the Wolf and the Three Little Pigs”. Her play was produced March 15 to 17 at ACT Theatre. It was also performed tonight at Explorer West.

Playwright, 7th grader Finnley Kafer

"I was completely shocked," Kafer told the West Seattle Herald while gardening outside the school with her classmates while her play was being rehearsed in the gym. "I honestly did not think anyone was going to want to do my play. I got to watch it being performed (by adult actors) from the audience. It was amazing. It was so cool. I had to go up on the stage with the other playwrights and directors and the audience could ask us questions. The play is about what happens after the story of the Three Little Pigs. It is in a courtroom and the pigs are trying to get the wolf sent to jail for ruining their houses. It's a comedy on that. It's a sequel.

"I'm OK with writing," she added. "I think I like writing short stories mainly. If I ever were to become a writer I'd want to do children's books because that seems like a short, little easy thing that could be funny."

Head of School Evan Hundley

"It's amazing the things they think of in their age group," remarked an impressed Evan Hundley, the popular Head of School, as he snapped photos during the dress rehearsal. He expressed admiration for Kafer.

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