Life 101 by Luz Lainez

Plays at NCA are not as common as musicals; nevertheless, they are just as intriguing. Life 101 is a play created by Willyn Webb along with some lines and scenes added by the directors of the play at NCAI, Mrs. Uhl, Miss Tezak, and Miss Hoogeveen. The storyline is based upon if Jesus was sent to school before coming down to Earth. It’s a light-hearted comedy that follows Jesus as a preschooler up to a high-schooler, learning important life lessons in each stage of life. Due to COVID-19, there is limited seating and designated areas for groups or individuals. It will premiere on March 4 at 6 pm. If you can’t come on March 4th, no worries! There are also shows on March 5th and 6th at 6 pm. The tickets cost 5 dollars per person. I encourage you to come to watch this play for which the students have worked so hard!

I have gotten the opportunity to interview one of the directors of the play, Mrs. Uhl, along with one of the main characters, Kaden Uhl, who plays Highschooler Jesus. 

Mrs. Uhl

  1. What are your current feelings about directing the play?

I am excited that we are doing a play this year because it gives students who do not like to sing or dance an opportunity to participate. Also, with health protocols, a young cast, and busy schedules, this year’s play has been a perfect choice. 

  1. What are you looking forward to for this play?

Every year, I look forward to seeing the students shine. I sit in the front row and love watching them really get into their roles. My favorite parts are when someone forgets their lines but quickly improv their way through, and the audience never knows. 

  1. Out of all the plays and musicals you have directed, which is your favorite? Is it one of the harder or easier ones you have directed?

My favorite was Godspell. When Tom Seipel first announced doing it, I was not excited because I really didn’t know anything about it. However, when he received the news about his cancer, we decided to step up and continue it for him. In some ways, that show was more challenging to execute than Annie. It is my favorite because all of the songs are rooted in Scripture, so when I’m reading my Bible, I picture scenes from the show.

  1. Any exclusives that you are willing to share?

Our youngest cast member this year is six-years old, and this is not his first production. Our oldest cast member is seventeen, and even though she has been in other productions, she is taking a starring role for the first time. 

Lastly, I said “we” because I work with two other amazing directors! 

Kaden Uhl 

  1. Is it stressful being a main role? Is it hard to balance both school and the play?

It is not too stressful being a main role. For me, it is difficult to memorize lines, but by the end of all the practices, the cast is all ready for the big show. Balance between doing the play and having to finish schoolwork isn’t too hard. I still have plenty of time after school to finish homework, and the reality is that rehearsal is fun. I wouldn’t sign up if I knew it wouldn’t be fun. Working with the cast is always fun.

  1. How has it been working out with the cast? Do you enjoy it?

Throughout all the years I’ve been in the plays, the community has always been one of the best factors. This year we have a lot of younger and newer cast members, but nevertheless, it has still been fun and a great opportunity to train the fine too set of actors at NCAI.

  1. You have been in many musicals and plays before. What do you do when you forget a line?

Whenever I forget a line, I usually just continue talking about whatever, as long as it fits into the context of the current scene. If the others catch on that I’m trying to improvise, the scene goes by smoothly and the audience usually can’t even tell that there was a problem in the first place.

  1. What are you most looking forward to for this play?

I am most looking forward to seeing how well the transitions turn out between each Jesus. In this play, we have 5 different Jesus’ who “grow older” as the play progresses. It will be cool to see how that works out when everything is rehearsed and perfected.