Enriquez shines in spotlight as student director


Camila Flores

New Tech High @ Coppell junior Isabella Enriquez, with sophomore Brendan Raley and junior Raquel Andrews, directs rehearsal for the upcoming Coppell High School student-directed play “12 Angry Jurors” on Monday, Jan. 13. The play, a gender-neutral version of the original play, “12 Angry Men”, is showing from Feb. 21-23.

Sreeja Mudumby, Staff Writer

Cast members prepare their lines as she approaches them with a gentle smile. Her eyes sparkle with zeal; the cast members’ respect for her is apparent through their eagerness to start rehearsing. 

New Tech High @ Coppell junior Isabella Enriquez is the student director for the play “12 Angry Jurors”, the gender neutral version of “12 Angry Men”, which will be performed on Feb. 21-23 by the Coppell High School theater department. 

“I am always looking for new opportunities in theater, and while I love singing, dancing and acting, I wanted to broaden my scope. Directing [is] a great way to do that,” Enriquez said. 

Enriquez was always heavily involved in theater, and her love for it sprouted way before she decided to be a student director. 

“She is an amazing actor herself and she’s been in plenty of shows and she’s had pretty big parts,” said CHS junior Bella Null, who plays the Foreman. 

In “12 Angry Jurors”, a jury is weighing the guilt or innocence of a teenager charged with murder. Throughout the play, many thematic topics and life lessons are presented. 

“12 Angry Jurors is about how the democracy we are given as a community can affect people in different ways,” Enriquez said. “While we associate stereotypes with certain beliefs, they can look and sound different even nationally. They can look different from city to city, from town to town, from jury room to jury room.” 

Though the original film’s main cast consists of all white men, there is a modification in the cast of the CHS play. 

“I want it to really represent diversity,” Enriquez said. “The fact I was given a very diverse cast makes me incredibly happy because I think that every single point will be hit harder.”

Enriquez, along with the rest of the department, rehearses for two and a half hours everyday. Along with this, Enriquez spends many hours everyday working on the play and enhancing it little by little. She is an active student director even outside of the CHS Blackbox, but her dedication never wavers.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun,” Enriquez said. “I enjoy all of it because I get to work with this amazing cast and my amazing crew and every single part of the process is really fun for me.”

There are differences to having a student director as opposed to a teacher director. In this role, Enriquez serves as a leadership role for the cast to go to for assistance. 

“[Enriquez] knows all of us pretty well so she knows how to work with us, and she can relate to us more than an adult director would be able to,” Null said. 

Enriquez has been working for the past couple of months, preparing for the selection interview with CHS theater director Karen Ruth, generating technical ideas and laying out her vision of what she wants the play to be. 

“I’m really excited to be able to be a part of the vision that she wants to create for the show,” said CHS senior Angeli Smith, who plays Juror No. 8. “Because I am an actor, it’s kind of like a pawn in a game of chess for the director.”

Even though bringing an entire play to life can seem daunting, Enriquez has the support of her fellow peers. 

“I have a lot of faith in [Enriquez],” said CHS senior Ally Zuniga, who plays Juror No. 9. “She is very passionate about what she’s doing [and she] has thought about this thoroughly. She’s a great director.”

Enriquez, being the student director, faces many challenges running the show, such as making sure the technical aspects run smoothly and making sure the props and costumes are in check. But one thing she is very thankful for is her cast and her crew members, who make every rehearsal a new experience for her.  

“I love all of them. They’re extremely talented,” Enriquez said. “They went into this knowing that [the director] was going to be a student, and they have been so respectful and so considerate of me.”  

Enriquez has qualities that outshine in the world of theater, and through this experience, she has gained much more than just being able to run a play. 

“I do want to do theater as a career, but right now directing “12 Angry Jurors” is giving me a lot of leadership,” Enriquez said. “I can’t wait to go forward and be able to lead a big group of people, [and] know how to gain their respect.”

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