‘It Could Be Yesterday; It Might Be Tomorrow’: BHS Performing Arts Company’s ‘Inherit The Wind’ [VIDEO]

Photo: Henry Barnes (sitting) and Gavin Tieken-Zidel (standing right) were the leads in Belmont High School Performing Arts Company’s production of “Inherit The Wind.”

Belmont High School Performing Arts Company Presented “INHERIT THE WIND” by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee at Belmont Middle and High School Black Box.

​The Performing Arts Company Fall Play was the classic drama, “Inherit the Wind,” based on the real-life story of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, when a high school science teacher was arrested for teaching evolution and violating a new state law. The play tells the tale of a small town gripped in the ensuing debate about science, religion, free speech, the law, and the two legal heavyweights coming to town to battle for their causes.

The show features a cast of 18 actors and the tech crew includes more than 40 students working on lighting, scenery, costumes, props, sound, and stage management.


A dramaturg serves as a literary expert for a theatrical production, providing historical research, analysis and interpretation of a play to the cast, crew, and audience. For Inherit the Wind, Junior Lucas Holman conducted research about the history of the play, which was presented to the cast/crew throughout the rehearsal process, and participated with the cast in conversations about the present-day relevance of the show. He also wrote an essay for the program, part of which is excerpted here:

“Inherit the Wind” is a timeless work of historical fiction based on the “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925, in which a high school biology teacher was prosecuted for teaching evolution, which had been banned months prior. The play was written in the 1950s as a response to the McCarthy trials and a critique to the kangaroo courts of the Red Scare.

“Inherit the Wind” takes the historical figures and blends them into a dramatization of the courtroom. On one hand, “Inherit the Wind” is a time capsule, not just of the Scopes Trial from which it borrows its story, but from the McCarthy era which it aimed to critique. Similar to Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible,” “Inherit the Wind” utilizes the American past to touch on its American present by interweaving the themes and conflicts of the past with what they needed to hear then. However, the play is both timely as well as timeless, as many of the critiques it directs towards the unchecked dogma of Bryanism still ring true today in the climate of a divided America.


“Inherit the Wind” is a Modern American drama, which is a style of play we have not done in the PAC in recent years. Students have had the opportunity to explore character development, naturalistic acting and play dramatic scenes, which has been a fun challenge for rehearsal and a great learning experience for them.

In March of 1925, the Tennessee legislature prohibited the teaching of evolution. The strike against Darwin sparked outrage across scientific America. Local authority figures in Dayton, Tennessee, quickly agreed: they wanted to use the new law to bring money and fame to their unknown town. They convinced John T. Scopes, on whom the character of Bert Cates is based, to stand trial. The ACLU put together a defense team led by Clarence Darrow, the most famed defense attorney in the nation in his time. Darrow is fictionalized in the play as Henry Drummond, facing off against prosecuting attorney Matthew Harrison Brady, a disgruntled thrice-failed presidential candidate who sees the defense of God as his last mission. Matthew Harrison Brady is modeled after William Jennings Bryan, the 19th and early 20th-century presidential candidate and novel politician, whose influence derived from his populist ideals. 

In addition, the tech crew has been hard at work creating the world of the show. Under the guidance of Scenic Designer Anna Moss, Costume Designer Lila West and Technical Director Ian O’Malley, students are creating the world of the play. Although the show takes place in the 1920s, we felt it was important to show that the story is not a historical artifact. As the author’s say in their preface to the script, “it could be yesterday; it might be tomorrow.” We have represented that on stage with a “Wall of Americana” spanning the last 100 years of culture and invention, a decade spanning soundtrack of American music and costumes that evoke the 1920s, but don’t lock the characters into that time period.

Belmont HS PAC Presents The Musical ‘Mean Girls’ March 16-18

Photo: “Mean Girls” is coming to Belmont

The Belmont High School Performing Arts Company presents the High School version of the hit Broadway musical “Mean Girls.”

The hit 2004 film and 2018 Broadway Musical comes to the Belmont High School stage. With music by Jeff Richmond, lyrics by Nell Benjamin, and a book by Tina Fey, the iconic characters and lines from the movie are paired with original music and a story about finding your way in the High School jungle.

Performances will take place at the Belmont High School auditorium on:

  • THURSDAY, March 16, 7 p.m.
  • FRIDAY, March 17, 7 p.m.
  • SATURDAY, March 18 at 2 p.m. matinee and 7 p.m.



BHS STUDENTS: $5 Thu/Sat Matinee, $10 Fri/Sat 7pm

Purchase Tickets and for more information go to bhs-pac.org

CONTENT WARNING: Mean Girls contains adult themes, strong language and depictions of mature situations that may not be appropriate for all audiences. The show is recommended for ages 6th grade and up. The musical is based on the 2004 film “Mean Girls” and while the Mean Girls High School Version script contains some revisions from the movie and the original Broadway Musical, it follows the plot of the film faithfully, with much of the original dialogue and scenes included. Parents of younger children are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the movie or musical soundtrack before purchasing tickets. While Mean Girls contains mature content, it also provides an opportunity for meaningful dialogue about healthy vs. unhealthy friendships, social media, bullying and other important topics that adolescents face on a daily basis. We have engaged in these conversations during the rehearsal process, and hope the show will invite audience members to do the same.

Performing Art Company’s ‘Love’s Labor Lost’ Thursday-Saturday In The Black Box Theater [Photos]


The greatness of Shakespeare in the intimacy of the Black Box Theater will be treat for residents who attend “Loves Labor Lost”, the fall production of the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company.

The PAC Production features a send up of high school stereotypes, and mixes into the comedy some modern day slang, contemporary pop music and even some viral internet trends.

The show features a cast of 18 actors and the tech crew includes more than 40 students working on lighting, scenery, costumes, props, sound and stage management.

The production will take place Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Nov. 17, 18, 19 at 7 p.m. at the Belmont High School Black Box theater. 


  • Adults: $12 
  • BHS Students: $5 
  • Children: $7

Ticketing for the shows is all online, and advance purchase of tickets is strongly encouraged, as the Black Box has limited seating capacity. Tickets can be purchased at bhs-pac.org.

Not To Be Missed: 2022 Broadway Night, Performing Art’s Cabaret, This Friday, Saturday

Photo: The 2022 Broadway Night poster

Belmont High School Performing Arts Company presents Broadway Night on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. in the Belmont High School Theater.

The dance number

Broadway Night is the company’s annual Musical Theater Cabaret, which kicks off the 2022-3 season. Students perform classic show tunes and contemporary work from new musical theater composers in an evening of song, dance and storytelling. The show features solo, duet and group songs, with a mix of humor, heart, romance and high-energy fun, plus a dance number choreographed by the PAC Musical Choreographer Jenny Lifson.

Admission: $5 students/children, $12 adults

Advance Ticket Purchase encouraged: Ticket sales and more info at bhs-pac.org

Performing Arts Company’s One Act Festival Returns With Pirates, Baggage, And A Dead Butler

Photo: Lincoln Crockett directing the world premier of “The Butler is Dead” at the One Act Festival at Belmont High School.

The sad tales of unclaimed luggage, a murder mystery in which the butler didn’t do it and a verbally gifted pirate in search of a special someone.

These are just a few of the productions presented this week with the return of the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company’s Student Directed One Act Play Festival taking place this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 12-14 at 7 p.m. in the Belmont High School Black Box Theater.

Tickets can be purchased online here. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

The annual production is back on stage after a two-year Covid hiatus with a mix of comedy, drama and everything in between.

”One Act is a form of theater that tries to condense a message that could be conveyed in a two hour straight play or musical into 10 minutes,” said senior Lincoln Crockett who is directing the world premier of “The Butler is Dead,” by Eli Barnes, a Belmont High graduate (2019) who wrote the work to be performed in 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic.

See the accompanying video as Crockett goes prepares his cast for the production.

For two BHS PAC veterans who have taken up the mantel of senior director, the return to One Acts now brings new outlook to the theatrical process.

Leeza Pesok is co-directing with Giulia VecchiI “Emotional Baggage,” a one act about suitcases stuck at an airport’s unclaimed baggage counter and all the trauma and problems they go through while complaining about their lives.

“Yeah, it’s a comedy,” Pesok said.

Pesok’s fellow senior, Katie Shea, is directing “Jolly Jack Junior: The Buccaneer’s Bairn” with Talia Fiore, the tale about a pirate named Willie who has been on the hunt for someone special.

Q: What’s it like to be involved with the return of one acts after two years away?

Pesok: “My freshman year in 2019, I was in a One Act as an actor. Three years go by and, out of the blue, I’m now directing one. Seeing the production from the inside-out has given me a truly unique perspective on building a show from the bottom up as a director.

Shea: I was also in one acts my freshman year and being able to direct them now has been such a rewarding experience to see a side of production of theater that I’m not normally on.”

Leeza Pesok and Katie Shea

Q: Why did you select the plays you’re directing?

Pesok: “I just spend a couple of weeks reading different plays. And then this one just sort of jumped off the page. I could really visualize it. And I still can’t forget the moment in auditions when I heard people reading the lines for the first time after reading it for so long by myself. And it was then I just knew I made the right choice. Seeing it in rehearsals and working through it, I’m just so excited for audiences to see it.”

Shea: “When [Fiore and I] found Jolly Junior, we read the script to each other in these ridiculous British accents and we couldn’t stop laughing. We knew that this play would be so fun to produce.”

Q: Unlike a standard play or musical, one acts are known for having fairly sparse staging. How do you compensate for these limitation?

Pesok: “We don’t actually have talking suitcases on stage. The script provides a little brief description for each character – a threadbare Valise from the South or a drug smuggler’s duffel bag – and then we sort of take that and incorporate some character choices and that gives the actors a chance to make the stage come alive.”

Shea: “We were lucky enough to have plenty of pirate costumes left over from “Spongebob” [BHS PACs spring musical produced last month] so that actually worked out pretty well for us. And while we did create a minimalist pirate ship, you’ll definitely get the feel that it is one.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from your one act?

Pesok: “When you when you go through an airport, you never really think about the experiences that their bags are going through and how it must feel being carried around through your whole life. It’s cool to see all the actors connecting with different aspects of each bags life; how one was meant to go to a Realtor’s convention in Florida but got left behind and she’s so upset about it. It’s a really fun perspective to have when you just are a person and not a suitcase.”

Shea: “We’re just looking for people to have a good time and sit there and laugh for a little bit. The plot of our show is ridiculous: there’s so many made-up words in the dialogue that are supposed to be ‘pirate’ language. The actors have done an amazing job of really bringing it to life on stage. So we just hope people have fun.”

The plays include:

SURPRISE By Mark Harvey Levine
Directed by Grace Sattler
Peter’s psychic abilities are driving his date, Whitney, slowly insane.

Directed by Katie Shea and Talia Fiore
Looking for revenge, pirate Willy boards a pirate ship and demands an audience with the captain… but instead finds a secret to his past.

Directed by Emily Kaiser
The arrival of Aliens is threatening Hubbard’s long reign as Bowling League Champion.

Directed by Chris Jorgenson
Matt wants his friend Dan to get out more and meet someone special, so he sets up a double date with Heather and Annie, but Dan’s secret inner life could be a deal breaker.

1-900-DESPERATE By Christopher Durang
Directed by Claire Svetkey
Gretchen, alone on a Saturday night, impulsively calls 1-900-DESPERATE, a hotline for desperate single people. But you never know who you’ll meet on an open phone line.

Directed by Leeza Pesok and Giulia Vecchi
It’s hard to be a suitcase at the Unclaimed Baggage counter.

Directed by Naomi Stephenson
David Schwartz is the only jew stranded in the Devil’s Lake, North Dakota airport on the first night of Chanukah – until he encounters another traveler with a link to the (historically real) turn of the century Jewish homesteaders in North Dakota.

THE BUTLER IS DEAD By Eli Barnes (World Premier)
Directed by Lincoln Crockett
Several important guests show up to a business meeting at a fancy manor, only to find that murder occurs. *gasp* The butler must have done it…. But…. The butler is dead!

Tickets On Sale For ‘The SpongeBob Musical,’ Performances March 17-19

Photo: The colorful poster for

Tickets are on sale beginning on March 1 for the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company production of “The SpongeBob Musical” based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg.

Performances take place on Thursday and Friday, March 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 19 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Belmont High School Theater.

TICKETS: ADULTS: $15 CHILDREN/STUDENTS: $10 ($5 tickets for Belmont High School students on Thursday and Saturday Matinee) Tickets on sale at bhs-pac.org starting March 1.

Ticketing for shows will be only online, and advance purchase of tickets is strongly encouraged, as all performances are expected to sell out.

Based on the Nickelodeoon Cartoon, The Spongebob Musical is a fun-filled adventure about an unlikely hero trying to save his underwater home from being destroyed. Featuring the iconic character from the TV show and songs written by a long list of pop, rock, and musical theater stars, The Spongebob Musical is entertainment for audiences of all ages as well as an allegory about climate change, accepting differences and the importance of friendship and community.

The cast of 45 students showcase their physical and vocal acting skills, taking on the roles of many of the well-known characters from the show as well as an ensemble of undersea characters including a rock trio of electric eels, tap dancing anemones, cult-worshiping sardines, down-on-their-luck pirates and more.

The technical elements of the show will show off the new theater. The set crew has built a coral reef to serve as a backdrop, in addition to Spongebob’s iconic pineapple home, a rock that transforms into a hot tub and more.

Our costumes crew has created a colorful array of costumes that use a 70’s disco-inspired style to evoke the colors and feel of a tropical aquarium. The props crew is building a number of unique items including a jetpack, scientific machines and more. The sound and lighting crews will get to take advantage of state-of-the-art technology in the new building, creating visual and audio effects to transform the theater into an underwater paradise.

The Spongebob Musical is appropriate for all ages. The witty humor, catchy tunes and engaging story will also keep adults entertained and those who have seen the TV will know that the characters and visual elements are fun for children of all ages.


At the present moment, current protocols require audience members attending events at Belmont High School to be masked in the lobby theaters and bathrooms. There will be a designated eating area in the cafeteria where concessions can be consumed unmasked at intermission.

Some performers will be unmasked on stage; all performers are fully vaccinated. There is a possibility that the town/school policies may change prior to the performance dates. Audience members should check the PAC Website for up-to-date information about Covid/mask policies prior to attending the show. Anyone experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 should not attend performances. You can reference the Boston Public School Symptom Checker here.

Winter Improv Show Set For Friday, Saturday In The Black Box

Photo: The poster of the Winter Improv Show

The Belmont High School Performing Arts Company will be holding its Winter Improv Show on Friday, Feb. 4 and Saturday, Feb. 5 at at 7 p.m. in the Belmont High School Black Box Theater.

Fun for all ages, the Improv Show is a high-energy performance, made up on the spot from audience suggestions.

Admission: Free for Belmont High School staff and students. $5 for all others.

Advance ticket purchases are encouraged (BHS Students/Staff can get free tickets at school during lunch, all others can buy tickets online). 

Ticket sales and more info at bhs-pac.org 


  1. MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED for all audience members.
  2. Food/drinks will not be allowed in performance spaces.
  3. The size of our Black Box Theater means that there is not a guarantee of distancing for audience members. We encourage family units to sit together, but at sold out shows, you will be seated directly adjacent to others.
  4. Anyone experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 should not attend performances. You can reference the BPS Student Symptom Checker here.

BHS Performing Arts Company Presents ‘The Servant Of Two Masters’ For Fall Play

Photo: From the poster of The Servant of Two Masters presented by the BHS PAC on Nov. 18-20.

The Belmont High School Performing Arts Company is presenting its fall play, THE SERVANTS OF TWO MASTERS, on Thursday, Nov. 18, Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20 in the high school’s Black Box Theater.

Written by Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni in 1746 and revised in 1789, The Servant of Two Masters is a comedy for audiences of all ages. Based on the traditional Commedia dell’arte, the play features physical comedy, wordplay, music, slapstick gags, wild costumes, candy colored scenery, and a madcap plot that will leave your head spinning.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for children and $5 for BHS students/staff. Tickets can be purchased online, and advance ticket purchase recommended as these performances sell out.

Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., with a special 2:40 p.m. performance on Friday just for BHS students/staff.

Details about the show and ticket sales at bhs-pac.org

As we invite audiences back into our schools, here are some guidelines for those who plan to attend theater events this year:

  1. MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED for all audience members.
  2. Food/drinks will not be allowed in performance spaces.
  3. The size of our Black Box Theater means that there is not a guarantee of distancing for audience members. We encourage family units to sit together, but at sold out shows, you will be seated directly adjacent to others.
  4. Some students performing on stage for theater events will be unmasked. These students have been required by the Belmont School Committee to be vaccinated.
  5. Anyone experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 should not attendperformances. You can reference the BPS Student Symptom Checker here.

We appreciate your compliance with these requirements. 

Preforming Arts Co.’s ‘Broadway Night’ To Show Off Belmont High’s New Black Box

Photo: The finale of BHS PAC Broadway Night (thanks to BHS PAC)

The Belmont High School Performing Arts Company is returning after a year-and-a-half in the virtual sphere to all live performances with its annual “Broadway Night: Musical Theater Cabaret” this weekend, Oct. 22 and 23 at 7 p.m.

To celebrate its homecoming, the in-school group will welcome the audience to its new home: The Black Box Theater on the first floor of the recently opened high school wing of the Belmont Middle and High School. The space has professional lighting and sound as well as flexible seating configurations that will allow for a greater audience experience.

Students artists will perform classic and contemporary works of musical theater consisting of solo/duet/small groups songs which are primarily self-directed which will showcase the acting, singing and dancing talents of the PAC members. And with every year, there will be a final song and dance performed by the entire company.

Tickets are $5 for students/children and $12 for adults. Tickets can be purchased online, and advance ticket purchase recommended: shows, as always, are expected to sell out!

Details about the show and ticket sales at bhs-pac.org

Due to As we prepare to invite audiences back into our schools, here are some guidelines for those who plan to attend theater events this year:

  • MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED for all audience members.
  • Food/drinks will not be allowed in performance spaces.
  • The size of our Black Box Theater means that there is not a guarantee of distancing for audience members. We encourage family units to sit together, but at sold out shows, you will be seated directly adjacent to others.
  • Some students performing on stage for theater events will be unmasked. These students have been required by the Belmont School Committee to be vaccinated.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 should not attend performances. You can reference the BPS Student Symptom Checker here.

Belmont High School Performing Arts Company Ends the School Year with TWO Shows On Friday Over The Weekend

Photo: Posters for both shows this weekend

As the days in the school year have entered single digits, the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company is ending it was a bang with two shows, one live and the other virtual.

  • Friday, June 11: A LIVE improv show outdoors
  • Saturday/Sunday, June 12-13: The Streaming Premiere of Some Enchanted Evening 

Details about both shows below and at bhs-pac.org


The PAC Improv Troupe is performing a full show of our favorite games and scenes. Fresh off the success of our May Show, we’ll be back at Clay Pit Pond – near the Veteran’s Memorial at the corner of Underwood – with more improvisers, more games and more laughs. Friday, June 11 at 6:30 p.m.

FREE for everyone, registration/sign up ahead of time requested. Sign up at http://bhs-pac.org/improv-show


The PAC’s Spring Musical is a celebration of the Golden Age of Musical Theater.  A collection of songs and scenes from classic musicals, the production showcases the work of our talented student performers and crew.

This production honors great composers, iconic shows and groundbreaking work, including songs from shows that you aren’t likely to see full productions of on the PAC stage. We’re thrilled to give our students and audiences the opportunity to experience this material.

The show is free to watch, but donations are encouraged.

  • Watch on the PAC Website (bhs-pac.org). The show premieres online June 12 at 7 p.m.
  • The show will also air on Belmont Media Center TV (Comcast Ch 96/Verizon Ch 30) on Saturday, June 12, and Sunday, June 13 at 7 PM.