The student news of Bethel Park High School.

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The student news of Bethel Park High School.

Hawk Eye

The student news of Bethel Park High School.

Hawk Eye

Meet the student directors of “Big Fish”

BPHS to stage Big Fish March 13-16
Meet the student directors of Big Fish

The student directors’ roles are vital to a production’s success. They write down blocking for each character, play the musical tracks before the actors join the orchestra, do paperwork, and much more. They do a lot of the work that the audience doesn’t see.

Ava Arnold performs in White Christmas at Little Lake Theater this past winter. (Kgatunney Photograph)

This year, the student directors are senior Ava Arnold and sophomore Riley Smith.

When asked what her favorite part of being a student director is, Arnold said, “My favorite parts are watching the Young Wills in rehearsal and working with Ms. Davin.”

Ava Arnold is a senior and is a member of Concert Choir and Top 21. 

Ava Arnold in Wonka at Little Lake Theater. (Hawk Photography)

She has participated in numerous shows at the high school and in the community.

She was in the ensemble for both BPHS’s productions of “Cinderella” and “The Addams Family.”

This past winter, she was Cigarette Girl and Dance Captain in Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” at Little Lake alongside senior Dylan Lawton who plays Will in “Big Fish.”

She also performed as Princess Fiona in “Shrek Jr.” and the Candy Man/Phinneous Trout in “Willy Wonka Jr.” at Little Lake Theatre.

Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf collaborates with Little Lake Theater, and Arnold played Roberta in their production of “Captain Louie Jr.”, where she performed in both American Sign Language and spoken English.

When asked what her favorite memory is from past BPHS musicals, Arnold said: “My favorite memories of the high school musicals are either the pre-show ritual in the girl’s dressing room or watching the fairy godmother fly across stage opening night my sophomore year from the wings. It was amazing to see her soar amongst the twinkling lights and hear the audience gasp in delight.”

Along with being a student director, Arnold will also perform in the ensemble of “Big Fish.”

After high school, Arnold plans to attend West Virginia University for Wildlife and Fisheries Resources.

Riley Smith is a sophomore at BPHS and is a current member of Symphonic Band and Treble Choir. Next year, she will be a member of Top 21.

Smith performed in the ensemble of “The Addams Family” last year and had two featured roles in “Annie Jr.” at IMS.

Along with being student director, Smith assists Mrs. Fontana, Mrs. Lodge, and Mrs. Blum with costumes. 

“It’s like a fun surprise to see all of the items we have under the stage,” Smith said.

Riley Smith as a bride ancestor in The Addams Family last year (Shelley Crowe)

When asked how her time working with the directors has been, she said: “I appreciate that they consider my inputs and they don’t just brush off what I said. I am very thankful that I have this great opportunity to work behind the scenes for the musical.”

When asked why people should see the musical, Smith said, “The music is a ten out of ten and the cast is crazy talented.”

Tickets to see “Big Fish” led by student-directors Ava Arnold and Riley Smith only cost $10 and can be reserved here or by scanning the QR code below.

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About the Contributor
Meghan DeHaven
Meghan DeHaven, Editor-in-Chief
There’s more to Meghan DeHaven than just an award-winning SNO journalist, Meghan dances at Judy Murtaugh Dance Studio, she sings, she's very involved in the spring musical, and she boasts the title of Head Bethette.  Meghan got involved in Scholastic Publications in her sophomore year because she had an empty space in her schedule. Three years and one Best of SNO award later, she keeps coming back because she says it’s her favorite part of the school day. Meghan believes that her greatest strength is that she can make people feel comfortable despite the situation. Meghan likes that she “can be serious while making sure that everyone can have a good time.” Meghan gives her mother credit for the person she is today. Meghan says that her friends and family keep her true to herself and remind her to stay true to her dreams. Despite being a huge fan of Ohio State Football, Meghan plans to study social media, public relations, and advertising at Point Park University. After college. Meghan’s dream career is to become a concert photographer and be her own boss. Combining both of the things she loves most, live music and photography, Meghan feels like this would be the perfect fit for her. If Meghan ever needed some time away, her dream vacation would be a cozy cabin retreat to somewhere like Montana or Colorado. That or she would like to travel all across Europe and get out of the United States. But before any of that, Meghan has to take a look at where she started. If she could have given herself some advice ten years ago, Meghan would have told herself to get involved in as many clubs and activities as she possibly can and not to let others' opinions concern her. With her eyes set on her future, Meghan DeHaven can achieve anything she wants with the support of her friends and family. Written By: Zane Antonich, Staff Writer

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