Thirteen-year-old makes his directing debut

Lacombe’s Nolan Wilkie showcases The Wise People of Gotham

A 13-year-old boy has put great efforts and time into directing his very own play that was presented this past Tuesday at the Wolf Creek Community Church.

Nolan Wilkie of Lacombe put his creative mind to work as he commanded a troupe of young actors, ages four to 12, to produce and direct a play titled The Wise People of Gotham.

“I actually had somebody ask me if I might consider it, and I was shaky at first but thought it would be fun to put it on,” he said.

The Wise People of Gotham was adapted from a biblical tale of a town called Gotham. The people of the town act foolish so that a greedy king does not come into their town, create a major road and steal their goods.

“I was looking up ways in books to help me figure out how to do this, and (the play) was in one of the books,” said Wilkie.

His mother, Megan Wilkie, adds that Nolan was very creative and wrote the entire first scene by himself.

Nolan used the biblical tale to guide his play, and was creative when writing its adaptation. The king, named King Greedy, seeks things such as pizzas from the ‘simple’ people of Gotham. Nolan brought humour and fun to the production, and took the time to make sure his actors were comfortable.

“I was pretty nervous before the show, and quite excited,” he said. He laughed as he added, “After, I felt like it went really good and I felt kind of tired.”

Nolan said his favourite aspect of the directing process was seeing the production come together as a whole, finished product. Despite a few hiccups in the organizing process, the production ran smoothly and Nolan’s hard work paid off.

“A couple times we had to change the date of the play, and we really had trouble with that because we had to go through the church, then ask everybody if it would work for them.”

Nolan said he is thinking about taking some improve classes, or possibly beginning to work on directing another production.

“I just was really proud of him. I didn’t ever doubt he could do it. He’s always been very enthusiastic and it’s a real niche for him. He’s been in plays and taken a lot of classes through Cornerstone Youth Theatre in Red Deer,” said Megan.

“I was just really excited for him. I was really encouraged with all the parents and children that were excited to be doing it, and excited Nolan was doing this.”

Nolan managed a group of 16 kids, cast and crew, to put together this production. He organized meetings and practices twice a week, casted, adapted the script and directed the play. He helped figure out costumes, teach kids how to perform in a live production, how to roll with any mistakes and other theatre skills.

The play was well received by friends and family at the Tuesday night performance at Wolf Creek Community Church.


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