The future is now for Clairemont student/director Adira Rosen
We have all heard the saying, “if you set your mind to something you can do whatever you want”; this is exactly what I thought after meeting Adira Rosen.
I recently received an email from Rosen an 11th grade student at Mt. Everest Academy (M.E.A) in Clairemont. In summation, she introduced herself as a student and the founder of the Mt. Everest Academy Theatre Company and was directing her first production The Snow Queen, in December.
I was taken aback at first by the email as it was sent at 11:40pm on what was a school night for Rosen. I acknowledged her an email thanking her for writing and after a couple more rounds of correspondence I suggested we meet at the school with either a teacher or parent or the principal.
The day of the meeting myself, Adira and Principal Browne talked about how the past, the present and the future brought us to that day. Rosen talked about her short term goals (her directing debut) and long term goals attending college and after graduation pursuing a career in theatre as a producer/director/stage director.
Ms. Rosen explained how she approached Principal Browne the first week of the school year wanting to start a school theatre company. As an independent study school Mt. Everest Academy is a K-12 school, which offers an alternative to traditional schools. Additionally, Adira graduated from the Creative Performing Media Arts (CPMA) middle school in Clairemont and is a member of the J Company Youth Theatre. Clearly Adira has the theatre bug and this is another step in her journey.
As for starting the theatre company Principal Browne asked Adira to write up a plan and submit it for review. What Brown received was an extensive plan by Rosen professionally submitted, including information on budgeting, fundraising, auditions, marketing, costumes, set construction, rehearsal times, show dates just about everything needed to start the M.E.A Theatre Company and its first production.
The more Adira talked the more I learned of the sheer determination of this young student who is clearly laser focused. When I inquired about the biggest challenge as a first time director, she laughed and said, “finding students to be in the production”. However, as word spread across the campus the problem was soon solved, auditions were held and the cast was chosen (also making an appearance in the production is Principal Browne). Rosen was quick to credit other students that have assisted her throughout the process and are playing key parts in the production.
Adira confidently told me, “This is not about me, but the entire school we are all in this together and building something which will hopefully be around for years to come here at Mt. Everest Academy.”
After listening to her and hearing about her passion for this project, I was pleasantly surprised when she invited me to a rehearsal and the opportunity to see her direct. The 14 students in the production range from 2nd grade to her peers in the 11th grade. The meeting the three of us had been talking and learning this invitation was to see her in action… directing.
Working on her computer, taking notes and giving direction Adira owned the auditorium during the rehearsal. Throughout, she guided the students and provided ideas and advice along with teaching moments. One very subtle piece of advice she relayed to all the cast was “It’s ok to speak your lines and be moving at the same time.”
Rosen’s sharp eye for detail while juggling all the moving parts of the run through was impressive to witness, in addition to the fact there were at least a half dozen more teachable moments throughout the rehearsal.
When rehearsal ended, she sat all the students on the top step of the stage handed each a scrap of paper and a pen and proceeded to provide individual notes for each cast member. Adira spoke one on one with each member referring to her own notes and provided some additional feedback, tips, advice and guidance about a certain aspect of the production to “keep in mind” or “remember this.”
Her final act for the day’s rehearsal was a general Q & A with all the cast. She answered any and all questions, discussing logistics, costumes, and timing all the while providing useful information and learning points.
Sitting in the back of the auditorium, I was quite amazed and impressed, watching a junior in high school paving her own path. Adira knows what she wants and is building her resume through the creation and first ever production at the Mt. Everest Academy Theatre Company.
The first week of school Adira presented a very detailed report on her passion, and here we are, four months later her directorial debut of The Snow Queen, opening this evening.
The Snow Queen plays for three nights: Tuesday 12/15 at 6pm, Wednesday 12/16 at 4pm and Thursday 12/17 at 6pm.
The show is one act with no intermission and run time is about 1 hour.
All performances are at Mt. Everest Academy, 4350 Mt Everest Blvd, San Diego 92117.
Tickets are available at the school office ahead of time $4/$6 students/adults and at the door $5/$7.