Under Milkwood is Coming to Cleveland


Clarion photo Sarah Jones

Niko Hellman rehearses in anticipation for the premiere of Under Milkwood.

By Shelton Bowman, Copy Editor

Coming soon to Cleveland is “Under Milkwood,” a student-directed play based on the writings of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The story, which will be performed March 17-18, takes place over the course of 24 hours in the small Welsh fishing village of Llareggub. It follows the inhabitants of the village throughout their day, including characters like blind sailor Captain Cat who dreams of his lost lover and of his friends and shipmates who drowned at sea. “Under Milkwood” is a long and beautiful poem written entirely in verse. Its original author, Dylan Thomas, wrote it as a radio play in 1954, but it was later adapted to the stage.

The play will be completely student-run and directed. Having student-directed plays at Cleveland allows us to do more of them. While most schools only do a few plays a year, Cleveland does nine. Said Under Milkwood actress Sophie Friedenwald-Fishman, “I think it’s amazing that students get to direct shows because the whole point of drama is not just learning how to act, but also learning how to do other things. That’s why there are student stage managers, directors, set designers, and set builders, which is really awesome. If you’re a student out there who wants to get involved, but acting isn’t really your thing, there is other stuff you can do.”

There are lots of other benefits of student-directed plays. Said director Izzie McTighe, “Students can relate to the student directors really well. Often the directors and the cast become really bonded because we’re all the same age.” After practicing for a month and a half, McTighe says that the cast is very close.

McTighe says she enjoys directing Under Milkwood because for many kids it’s their first play. “It’s been really exciting to see people learn that they really like theater while they’re in this play,” she said.

If you’re interested in poetry, get storytelling, or want to support the Cleveland Company of Warriors, then come see Under Milkwood! It’s playing at Cleveland on Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. and on Saturday March 18 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors and $8 for adults.