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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

From Script to Stage: Charlie Parris, take it away

Ashley Wang
DIRECTOR WITH DIRECTION: Junior Charlie Parris looks through her script with enthusiasm.

With a huge grin, junior Charlie Parris leaps onto the front table with energetic flair. Heads turn towards the sound of her voice, which echoes around the room as she stands before Northwood’s Advanced Drama class and explains the day’s plans.

Parris is the sole director and playwright of her original play, “See Me Yet?,” which has given her both freedom and responsibility as she guides the drama room. Deeply involved in both Northwood’s creative writing and theater programs, Parris’ love for storytelling has propelled her towards new, unimaginable realms. 

“I always wanted to just write random stories, and I would go way in depth on them,” Parris said. “I would be urged to start writing them down, so I did.”

Parris’ fifty-page script for “See Me Yet?” began with a one-off scene she wrote during the TV writing unit in Northwood’s Creative Writing class. After a friend joked about turning the scene into a one-act play, Parris took her idea to the next level and created the piece for her Advanced Drama project. 

“We’ve done student-written works before, but that was a long time ago,” drama teacher Danyelle Bossardet said. “This is the first time I’ve had a student who is really, really interested and able to just write from the heart, and it’s good. I’ve really seen her step up and be a confident, kind, yet strong leader.”

The vignette-style play involves every student in Advanced Drama and ends with a different closing scene for each show day. It consists of seven scenes, with six interludes that follow the through lines of Quinn (Riya Roy) and Ollie (Parris). 

Representing a variety of identities and experiences, the play centers around the idea of learning to change, grieve and step outside yourself to see the ways you impact other people. 

“I was trying to think of all of these scenarios of how someone can feel seen by someone else,” Parris said. “Every scene has this understanding between two people and all of the different aspects of that.”

Her mother’s love for musicals influenced Parris growing up, and she remembers listening to favorites like “Wicked” in every car ride. In middle school, she continued to develop her love for writing with short stories while getting involved with the technical side of theater. 

After taking a drama class in her sophomore year, however, she pivoted to the acting side of theater, performing in shows like “Willy Wonka” as an oompa loompa and “Freaky Friday” as Gretchen. 

“I got my first taste of theater, and then I didn’t want to back down,” Parris said. “You feel like you can always go back to those people. It’s just a really good community, so once you go, you feel like you’re stuck in a glue trap you can’t leave.”

As with many successful leaders, Parris has never walked alone. The community of writers she found at Northwood and the uplifting presence of her family have steadily carried her forward. Her newest endeavor is backed by technical support from stage manager senior Shreya Srinivasan and Bossardet, and she is supported by each member of her cast. 

“Everyone’s really supportive of Charlie,” Advanced Drama student senior Faiyaz Helal said. “We’re all so in awe of how Charlie was able to create a play within weeks. The amount of talent that Charlie has is unbelievable.”

Whether having the class read through the scripts for the first time or blocking each scene, Parris’ remarkable persistence and creativity has allowed her to bring her ideas to life and impact others around her.

“Seeing the gasps and the near tears at the end was amazing,” Parris said. “It really made me realize that I was capable of putting those real emotions into these works. I had never taken a step back to be able to see that, and I think that’s really like full circle with the show.”

Come experience “See Me Yet?” in the Northwood theater on April 15 and 16. 

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About the Contributors
Hannah Liu, Staff Writer
Hannah was taken into custody for the destruction of her sleep schedule and now writes articles for the Howler to pay off the damages. When she's not sneaking off to Narnia or getting lost in a book, you can probably find her playing with her German Shepherd, drinking boba and thinking about everything. Or searching for her many lost water bottles.
Ashley Wang
Ashley Wang, Photographer
Ashley Wang is a photographer for The Howler. They enjoy poetry and watching Luca Guadagnino films at midnight. They have blue hair and pronouns.

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