“A Wrinkle in Time”: A Broken Box Experiment


Noor Khan

Seniors Dommy Hernandez Beltran and Stormalong Hunt with junior Tessa Prodromou onstage during a run through of Broken Box’s latest production, “A Wrinkle in Time.” The show will be running from Thursday, November 3, through Saturday, November 5.

Los Altos High School’s production of “A Wrinkle in Time” by the school’s theater company, Broken Box, has been a serendipitous experiment for the company and its members. With a new director at the helm and an unconventional show in the works, the members of Broken Box have unrelentingly thrown themselves into the chaos. 

“‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is like, out there, especially for Broken Box,” ensemble member junior Emma Rensin said.

Adapted from the classic novel, the story of “A Wrinkle in Time” follows Meg Murray, a girl who goes on an interdimensional adventure to rescue her father from evil forces holding him prisoner on another planet. While the story may be familiar to many of the audience members, the production marks a departure from past Broken Box shows. The show is put on ensemble-style: a majority of the cast is a part of the ensemble, who are on stage for most of the show and help tell the story. 

“The ensemble basically is the set and the props — we rely on them so much to tell the story,” junior Tessa Prodromou, who plays Meg, said.

With an unusually large number of people on stage at one time, directing the show requires more time and attention to detail than normal.

“In the nicest way possible, I think coordination has been something we’re struggling with,” junior costumer Kelly O’Neal laughed. “And it’s not because anyone in the show is bad at managing anything — it’s just that it’s such a large cast, and so much of the show is the entire cast on stage. It’s really hard to coordinate everyone.”

Tessa recommends that audience members pay special attention to what’s going on in the ensemble.

“Pay attention to the story the first time you watch it, but people should come twice so they can look at the details,” Tessa advised. “So you should buy two tickets to a Wrinkle in Time!”

After 27 years at LAHS, former Broken Box director Nancy Moran retired at the end of the 2021–2022 school year, passing the torch on to English teacher Lisa Battle, a former student of Moran’s. 

“I’ve gotten to take all the things that I loved doing when I was a student here, and I’m excited to get to bring that back,” Battle said. “But I’ve also learned so much since.” 

One thing Battle’s arrival has encouraged is students taking more ownership of their show. 

“Last year, Ms. Moran was so tenured and so wise from so many years of teaching Broken Box that we expected her to make every single decision,” ensemble member junior Sam Cousins said. “But this year, it feels like everyone is part of the creative process. I think that even if I haven’t gotten used to it yet, it’s a really good thing. But I would say that with that comes a… pinch of chaos.”

But the students have taken this in stride, as has Battle.

“[The students] have been so kind. I know that when a huge program has been run by one person and then it transfers, there’s usually some growing pains,” Battle said. “And I’m not saying there won’t be or there aren’t, but they’ve been really kind and accepting and trusting of me, so I really appreciate that, and I don’t want to let them down.”

Trust between Battle and the students has allowed everyone to persevere and be ready in time for opening night, November 3. 

“It’s definitely going to be an adventure,” Sam said. “But you should come and see it for yourself.”