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The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Almond Elementary students to premiere self-written and directed play

Courtesy Rosalind Bordo
From left to right: Almond Elementary School sixth graders Bailey Bordo, Maya Stern and Chloe Renz sit together outside Almond.

For over a year, Almond Elementary School sixth graders Bailey Bordo, Chloe Renz and Maya Stern wrote and refined their very own play, “Modern-Day Myth.” After just a couple of months of directing lunchtime rehearsals and speed-building set pieces, the trio will premiere the play on Saturday and Sunday, May 18–19 at Almond.

The 20-minute play features a cast of fourth through sixth-grade Almond students, following Greek goddess Medusa as a 21st-century influencer as she finds her way through fake friends, true beauty and a mustache.

“Medusa’s beauty is everything to her,” Bailey said. “And she realizes that she was missing actual friends because friends are more important than people who like you online.”

As a student-run club, the trio started with no budget — the lack of time for fundraising pushed the production to this spring despite having the script completed by the end of the 2022-2023 school year. Budget planning started before the school year; in the summer of 2023, the trio fundraised over $800 selling lemonade, including during the annual Los Altos Arts and Wine Festival downtown.

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“Lemonade, lemonade, lemonade was our form of money,” Chloe said. “About $500 was from the Arts and Wine Festival, and everything else was from selling on the street outside Bailey’s.”

In the fall, they began planning for the show. After chartering their club — which allows them to host rehearsals and use Almond’s performing space — casting, costumes and scheduling rehearsals were all their responsibilities.

“We held three-day auditions since there were many people and just not that much time,” Bailey said. “People like theater, so a lot of them signed up for fun. It gives them a chance to be seen and heard as an actor.”

“Most of our cast is fifth graders who have never been in a play before,” Maya said. “That is a challenge for us, but we also like that we’re giving them this opportunity to be in their first play ever.”

Rehearsals for “Modern-Day Myth” officially began in February, and the cast met only twice every week during the students’ lunch break. While many cast members were enticed by the lack of after-school commitment, lunch rehearsals had their own set of difficulties.

“Some people did this just for fun, so they didn’t realize they were supposed to be taking it seriously until just last week,” Bailey said on the Monday before opening night. “We’re a bit rushed because the performances are this weekend, so we need to get everything done, get things perfected.”

As opening night approaches, the trio reflects on their personal growth from this experience.

“Part of it was just realizing that people are not always going to listen and sometimes you just need to deal,” Maya said. “There have been times when we got really frustrated, so in the future, we could think about how to give us more time to teach people and how to teach people better.”

Like Medusa, Bailey, Chloe and Maya have also explored their friendship through the ups and downs of writing, fundraising, directing and everything in between.

“It’s been a bit hard writing the play,” Maya said. “We’d argue, but I’m glad that we’ve stayed together as friends.”

“We did our best — it’s not perfect, but we can’t focus on the imperfections,” Bailey said. “We’ve got to focus on what we did well, and we’ve done a lot.”

“Modern-Day Myth” is showing at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 at the Almond Elementary multi-purpose room. Tickets are free and on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Dorie Xie
Dorie Xie, Sports Editor

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