Breaking Through With Blithe

Mrs. Kimberly Harrison debuts as FHC’s new theater director with the 1940s play: Blithe Spirit.


Courtesy of Mrs. Kimberly Harrison

Blithe Spirit show dates and ticket prices cover a magical background, previewing the show’s mystical nature.

The stage is set: a small set of tired high schoolers litter the school auditorium’s stage and read from their scripts, with their lines highlighted and underlined, notes scribbled in the margins, Mrs. Kimberly Gueyden-Harrison, the new FHC theater director, watches from the folding seats in the audience.

“[Theater] is my passion, and this is what I love. It’s my happy place. Theater-performing arts, it’s the joy of life.” Mrs. Harrison said.

Mrs. Harrison has been teaching for almost thirty years, and is preparing her cast and crew members for her first production at FHC: “Blithe Spirit.” Blithe Spirit was a comedy written by Noel Coward, a playwright during World War II, in 1941 during the German Blitz in London.

“The whole idea was that it was a way for audiences to not have to think a whole lot. It was supposed to be fun, make people laugh, be entertaining, without any morals at the end, like a lot of plays have … I figured coming off of a COVID year, that would be a nice way to step back into the life of theater,” Mrs. Harrison said.

They all have good chemistry together and it’s easy to work with them. I also really like our production staff.”

— Louis Jesse

Senior Louis Jesse, stage manager for the production of Blithe Spirit has been into theater since his freshman year of high school, and has been gradually working his way up the theater ‘chain of command’.

In this production, Jesse explains that he is most optimistic with the cast and their ability to work well together.

“They all have good chemistry together and it’s easy to work with them. I also really like our production staff,” Jesse said.

This production’s Student Director, a new position for the school’s production staff, is senior Zoe Michals. Michals has been working in theater since the spring musical of her freshman year, taking a particular liking to the technical side.

“Growing up, I always wanted to be a news anchor…but as I grew up, I kind of realized that I don’t like being on camera…eventually, I started getting more fascinated with the behind-the-scenes aspects, like directing and producing,” Michals said.

Something Michals and Mrs. Harrison have both shown some enthusiasm for is “Blithe Spirit’s” special effects. While this is something that Mrs. Harrison has shown some concern towards, Michals addresses the subject with confidence and excitement.

“I’m confident with the tech stuff, this show, because I know we’ll make it work, because I want the show to be cool, and I think that as long as we have a lot of talent in our department, especially technically, I think we can do it, it’s just a matter of us sitting there and putting it together,” Michals said.

Despite varying degrees of concern and worry, certainty and excitement, both cast and crew continue their hard work on Blithe Spirit with eagerness and determination.

“I love it when all the aspects of a show come together: when the actors get into costume and makeup, and they become the character, and then the set comes together, and then the special effects and the lighting and everything comes together in this huge massive present…It is the best moment ever. I love it when a plan comes together, it’s that moment of: ‘Yes, that’s what I wanted,’” Mrs. Harrison said.