Human Interest

It’s time for seniors to take their next step.

Lauren Remy will be attending Arizona State University after graduating from Sedona Red Rock High School and is already gaining notice.

For her senior exhibition, Remy wrote a one-act play, “The Tenants,” which impressed her panel of judges, which included Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarty.

The play is a comedy following a landlord attempting to manage quirky tenants and runs roughly 45 minutes. The play was inspired by talks she had with her driving instructor, who is also a landlord.

“Eventually, the landlord decides he wants to sell the building and quit being a landlord, but he does not want his tenants to know,” Remy said.

What makes it even more impressive is the fact it is Remy’s first go at the medium.

“I taught myself everything I know by utilizing theater knowledge — bestowed upon me by my previous theater teacher, Phil Depasquale — perusing old scripts and doing research on the genre of comedy and comedy shows such as ‘Seinfeld,’” she said.

One of the challenges for Remy was figuring out how to convey information.

“You can’t say, ‘Character A carries herself in an arrogant way, sticks her nose in the air and talks as if everyone is beneath her.’ You have to show the audience that by having the character talk a certain way and walk a certain way,” she said.

Reactions, therefore, became the most important thing for her characters.

“Everything in a script is about the characters and what they say and do,” she said.

Remy not only wrote the play, put directed and produced it, another set of new challenges.

“I thought I would simply take what I wrote on paper and then the actors would do it. But you can do so much with the text, and take it in many directions,” she said. “The biggest part of it is that when you’re a director, you have to be everybody. You have to see the piece through the audience’s eyes and you have to be every single character. You have to know why everything is happening, why something is funny, why something is not funny, etc.”

Normally, Remy said she is somewhat shy when asked to share her art, but this play sticks out as a point of pride.

“The two nights that I staged my play will be remembered forever. This process taught me so much more than about how to write a play, and I will value those lessons every day,” Remy said.

This wasn’t the only cap to Remy’s K-12 education, either. She was awarded the Gates scholarship, which will help significantly when attending ASU. Remy recalled her thoughts upon getting the acceptance letter in the mail.

“I felt strong because I view this as more than a reward for effort, or a way to make funding my college endeavors easier. I view it as an opportunity. Someone out there read the essays I wrote for this scholarship, and really believed in me and what I had to say. That makes me feel encouraged to do great things,” she said.

In choosing ASU, while she does not regret going, Remy said she learned the value of not taking yourself for granted.

She said that during her time applying for colleges, she felt she didn’t have the GPA or test scores to get into out-of-state institutions, combined with out-of-state tuition costs that she didn’t know could be helped at the time by the Gates scholarship. She didn’t want to waste her time applying if she couldn’t follow through.

“You should never tell yourself that you know what will and will not happen, because sometimes really great opportunities come up and you can do that thing you’ve always wanted to do,” she said.


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