Wayzata Alumnus Returns to Direct

Cast+of+Mary+Poppins%2C+directed+by+Grant+Sorenson%2C+runs+the+music.+Photo+by+Lauren+Leaseburg.

Cast of Mary Poppins, directed by Grant Sorenson, runs the music. Photo by Lauren Leaseburg.

Cole Seager, Staff Writer

  Currently working as a Minneapolis-based actor, director, and playwright, Wayzata alumni Grant Sorenson is bringing his talents back to the high school.

  In 2015, Sorenson returned to Wayzata to direct the competition one act play, “The Debutante.” Since then, he and theatre program director Sonia Gerber have changed the program to include a more diverse array of productions.

  The program’s new season includes a fall black box play, a freshmen and sophomore musical, and a spring mainstage play in the new auditorium. Gerber and Sorenson hope this will provide ample opportunity for students interested in different aspects of theatre.

  “My time in the Wayzata theatre department when I was a student here, really set me up for what would become my college career as an actor and also my professional career as an actor and theatre-maker.” Said Sorenson.

  Citing opportunities to act, direct, and write as a student, Sorenson explained that he owes so much of who he is to his time at Wayzata and wants to help expand the program to include similar opportunities for current students.

  “Before, it was really focused on kids who just wanted to do musicals and anyone who was interested in really focusing on straight theatre didn’t have much of an opportunity throughout the year.” Said Sorenson. “When Mrs. Gerber asked me if I would want to come back and direct, I knew right away that I absolutely would. If I could help sort of lay out the same artistic success for other students who were in the position I was in when I was here, that was just kind of a great idea for me.”

  Last fall, Sorenson directed the Tennessee Williams’ classic, “The Glass Menagerie.” With a cast of four actors, “Glass” was a much smaller show in comparison to the school’s previous productions but provided a new chance for students interested in acting to tackle some more challenging material.

  This years season integrates many of the same changes as last years, with Sorenson instead stepping up to direct the fall musical, “Mary Poppins,” and the spring play “The Crucible.” The fall play, “The 39 Steps,” and the winter musical, “Little Shop of Horrors” will both be directed by Sonia Gerber.

  Students interested in getting involved on the acting side should look out for auditions for “Eurydice” and “Little Shop of Horrors” in the winter and “The Crucible” in the spring.

  Auditions will be posted on the department’s website, www.whstheatre.com. Students interested in contributing to the technical side can show up to set builds Tuesdays and Thursdays after school in the scene shop.