Pair of NAHS Students Directs Student-Focused Play “13”

North Atlanta High School theater buffs Caroline Geckler and Parker Whitlow have donated their time this fall to directing the famous Broadway musical “13.” The show will open in the Sutton Middle School auditorium on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.

The two friends started directing plays together at Sutton when both attended the school. Their directing work was part of Whitlow’s Middle Years Program (MYP) project. The MYP project is a prerequisite for all students who enter North Atlanta’s International Baccalaureate Program. Whitlow wanted to offer serious drama students at the school the opportunity to invest in a noteworthy production. The show “Into the Woods Jr.” debuted at Sutton in November 2012.

After being met with enthusiastic participants, talent, and huge success, the dynamic duo immediately began planning their next big performance with the show “13” in mind. “It is an important story, one laden with meaning and relevant themes for adolescents,” Geckler said, “We wanted to make sure that we put out there mattered.”

The musical “13” is a story that follows a young teenager as he navigates parental tension, middle school, and planning his bar mitzvah.

Since parts of the original show are too racy for a middle-school audience and for a middle-school cast, the directors made sure to edit the script to suit their audiences.

Geckler and Whitlow have found they have a hidden passion for directing. “This is my calling and I know I was made to do this,” Geckler stated.

Through the rewarding experience, Whitlow has found that she may later wish to pursue a career as a director.

Because of their passion, the musical “13” will undoubtedly be a hit. “We love this show. It is about middle school, so everyone in the audience and on stage can relate to it,” Whitlow said.

Tickets for the show can be purchased at Sutton Middle School and the show will run on Nov. 14 and 15 at 7 p.m., and Nov. 16 at 2 and 6 p.m.