Experiencing 16..in ten minutes or less


Photo provided by Samantha Erb

Sofi Zeman , Features Editor

On Friday, November 3, Belvidere North’s theater department kicked off their performance season with 16 In Ten Minutes Or Less. Originally published in 2011 by Bradley Hayward, the story follows seven high schoolers as they try to maneuver through their teenage years.

     The plot includes various “ten-minute-or-less” scenes that give viewers a glimpse into what it’s truly like to be sixteen in present day. It covers topics such as the modern teen’s infatuation with social media, meeting strangers online and the awkward braces phase. However, more depth can be found within the play when the teens experience early romance, stressful home lives, bullying and their greatest fears.

     The Belvidere North cast features Arthur Vinke (‘18) who plays Brody, a shy boy with a little baggage and a lot of heart. Brody’s love interest, Samantha (portrayed by Deja Sandkam (‘20)) is a spaz with an “all over the place,” kind of mindset. Regardless of this, she is a loyal friend who sticks true to her morals, as shown in the play. Newcomer, Jacob Schwenk (‘21), took on the role of James, a slightly annoying-yet-lovable boy, trying to overcome his parent’s recent divorce. His older sister, Piper, is played by Anna Karl (‘20). Karl’s character is the mean girl in school. She (along with Samantha Erb’s (‘19) character Cindy) is likely the character with the least depth in the show, as she attempts to bully Laura (Natalie Abramat (‘19)) throughout the storyline.

     “Being a teen is hard. I remember. I can not imagine being a teen in this technological age. Teaching teens and being the mother of teens, I get brief glimpses into the thoughts and dreams and hopes of teens. I hope this play helps us all peer behind the curtain of the teen mind for a while, and foster some understanding,” said original director, Bradley Hayward.

     The school’s production was directed by Mrs. Wendy Taylor, who has been involved with our theater department since early on in North history. With the help of her running crew, the final showing on November 5 made for the end of a successful weekend’s worth of drama.