Mrs. McGuinness: The New Director of the Upper School Play


Credit: Ava Russo '23

Mrs. McGuinness joyfully filled in as the new director of the play this fall.

The upper school play, 12 Angry Women, began on one of the first days of school as a group of barely 10 girls who auditioned via Zoom or video recording. Though it was a slightly atypical start (as at least 12 people are necessary for the play — there are 12 angry women, not 10), the ride was just going to get better. Once the director cast the play and a solid 14 members were participating, Mrs. Derendorf handed out scripts, and we realized just how difficult this play was going to be. Not only are the themes dealt with in the play delicate, but some of the characters also have to deliver some hard-hitting lines. As we began our third week of rehearsals, we learned that we were going to have a new director! With people just getting settled, it was the perfect time to introduce some new blood to this complicated yet exhilarating process. We embarked on the next segment of our basically-group-therapy-session rehearsals with the amazing Mrs. McGuinness and her equally iconic sidekick, Mrs. Juge.

Mrs. McGuinness was pleasantly surprised to be taking over the play. In the spring, she herself had the idea to get involved in it. “Well, I picked the play. I mean, it wasn’t like ‘I choose this!’ but it was something that I suggested. So I was really excited to actually be a part of it.” She sees this play as fitting, especially for the time that we are in, when dialogue and courageous conversations are so important. “Everyone can learn something. It’s just so relevant. It’s kind of a no brainer!”

The story focuses on the discussion that a jury has about whether a nineteen-year-old boy is guilty of killing his father. Each character comes with their own opinions, and they have to learn to listen to each other and seek the truth in this case. Mrs. McGuinness hopes to share a story of fair-mindedness, dialogue, and truth through this play. “There are so many different characters, but they are seeking the truth in different ways. And you can see the extent to which different characters are open or not open to the truth.” You’ll have to come see it to find out how the characters interact with each other and see her vision come to life.

Mrs. McGuinness talks to thespian Raine Niebuhr ’24 at play rehearsal (Credit: Ava Russo ’23)

Our new director also has lots of hopes for the girls participating in this production. When she was our age and even younger, she did the plays at her school, and she brings all her experience with her to Montrose. Most important to her, though, is the family that is formed and the confidence that is produced in the making of a play. “I really hope the girls can form new and different friendships. And it’s such a good way to be working on a project, especially something as meaningful as 12 Angry Women, where it’s not superficial. You get deep with it and can really think about it.” To all the participants of 12 Angry Women, she said: “ I hope you all take the opportunity and really sit with it, and also have a lot of fun!” 

Will do, Mrs. McGuinness! Our plastic knives ablazing, we will fill our scripts with tic-tac-toe, push each other around in our “water fountain,” scream at Raine’s pencil case, share all our crying stories, inform you that we are in advertising, and try not to waste too much time laughing at juror 10’s response to some commotion (is that natural for anyone at any time?) Welcome aboard, director. Anything you need can be found in our font of wisdom (Emma Judge) and the incredible Mrs. Juge, drama game extraordinaire.


Theresa Marcucci ‘23, Faith Editor