Abbey Delk knew she wanted to be a member of The Park Players when she saw the group’s 2011 production of Little Shop of Horrors in the Phyllis A. Beneke Theater.
Delk is now a member of The Park Players, and on Friday she will take the stage of the J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center in one of the lead roles in the group’s production of Little Women. The Wheeling Park senior said the actors, stage crew and costume designers have worked endless hours to ensure that the three upcoming performances live up to the reputation of excellence The Park Players have established.
“It’s a combination of nerves and excitement,” Delk said of the upcoming shows. “We’ve worked so hard, so we really can’t wait for people to see it. We work on our lines every day in practice, and then we are doing them all night when we are alone at home. So, (outside of academics) rehearsal never ends.”
Delk is a senior with a GPA of approximately 4.8, and her favorite classes are history and English. She became a member of the Wheeling Park High School Speech and Debate Team as a sophomore and has been a part of two state championships.
Delk placed in the top of 10 of the West Virginia Poetry Out Loud Competition as a freshman, and she claimed second place in the event as a sophomore. Because of a scheduling conflict, she was unable to take part in the event as a junior. Delk said she would like to take part in Poetry Out Loud as a senior and bring a state championship home to Wheeling Park High School.
She has had an outstanding four years at Wheeling Park High School. And, what is her proudest accomplishment as a Patriot?
“This role,” Delk said of being selected to play the character of “Jo March” in Little Women.
Delk has been involved in the Wheeling Park High School theater department since her freshman year. She has loved her time as a member of The Park Players, but Little Women has special significance to her and her friends in the cast.
“My best friend in real life is (Wheeling Park senior) Maguire Glass,” Delk said. “His character in the play is best friends with my character in the play, so that has made the play special for us.
“I think Little Women is meaningful for us to perform because we are all seniors playing a group of sisters and their mother,” she added. “We are very close (in reality), and we are playing a family (on stage). Little Women is a timeless story, and I think we relate to it on a personal level.”
Delk said she believes the stage crew and costume designers are what sets The Park Players apart from typical high school performances. She said she was quite impressed with Wheeling Park junior Reese Kefauver who is serving for the first time as the student stage manager. She also commended student directors Sarah Hedrick and Madeline Mendel.
Delk said she hopes children attendaning Little Women leave the performance feeling the way she did when she first saw The Park Players.
“I want them to see that first show and know they want to be a part of it,” Delk said. “Being in any show feels great, but this doesn’t feel like a high school performance to us. We love it when we are told how professional our performances are. It’s amazing to be a part of something that is this special.”
The Park Players presentation of Little Women will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center.
Photo 1: Abbey Delk, shown standing between Wheeling Park seniors Hinal Pujara, and Rebecca Erwin, will play the role of “Jo March” in The Park Players upcoming production of Little Women. Shown seated in front are Sydnee Porter and Katherine Leary.