Sophomore turns honors English project into original one-act comedy performance

From The Hamlet Thrill-ma-geddon to speech team, theater has always been active at Cedar Falls High School, but one student is taking it upon herself to put on a play of her own.


Sophomore Grace Gubbrud and senior Tommy Truelsen in The Hamlet Thrill-ma-geddon

Sophomore Grace Gubbrud used the semester-long project in Judy Timmins’ Honors English class to put on a production of Love (Awkwardly), a young adult play written by John Rotondo & Maryann Carolan. The one-act comedy follows eight juniors and seniors in contrasting relationships, some strong, some agonizing. Gubbrud’s choice of the play revolved around the emotional integrity. “I chose it because I felt it was something that a lot of teenagers can relate to so I could get really authentic emotions from all the people acting in it,” Gubbrud said.

According to Gubbrud, the play is “all about teenage relationships and how awkward and heartbreaking they can be.” The cast is comprised of senior Ellen Wallingford as Wendy, senior Tommy Truelsen as Eddie, junior John Nicol as Randy, junior Becky Ochoa as Charlotte, sophomore Katarina Walther as Laura, senior Abigail Van Patten as Sarah, junior Lucia McNeal as Roxanne, sophomore Cala Villavicencio and junior Emma Lewis.

The cast has been rehearsing for three and a half weeks in Gubbrud’s living room. “[I]t gets pretty crammed, but everyone has done really well adjusting,” Gubbrud said. But it’s been tough finding time in the active last stretch of the school year, especially with a large cast. “Lots of people have busy schedules, and so do I, so getting us together as a group is nearly impossible,” Gubbrud said. They’ve made the best of it, however, and will perform the play on Saturday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church (715 College Street, Cedar Falls).

Gubbrud is no stranger to the stage. She participated in her first play at age five and hasn’t stopped since. In the fall play, I Don’t Want To Talk About It, Gubbrud played Kylie, a teen struggling with bullying. She had a leading role as a narrator in the spring comedic play, The Hamlet Thrill-ma-geddon. Gubbrud participates in acting and improv classes outside of school. Her mentor of the Honors English project is Greg Holt, who leads a theater group she participates in called Parabola.


Class of 2014

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