“I always believed that theater starts with strangers and ends with family,” said Josh Porter, a senior who is majoring in theater and digital filmmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Josh Porter giving directions to his Cloquet student actors while practicing “10 Ways to Survive a Zombie
Apocalypse”. | Photo provided by Josh Porter

This year Porter took on the role of director of his very own play at Cloquet High School. In the beginning of the Fall 2022 semester, Porter was approached by a graduate from Cloquet who offered the position as a director. After seeing past Cloquet shows Porter couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

The play that he chose was titled “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse.” Porter said that he chose this play since allowed flexibility in casting, which can be one of the most stressful parts of making a production.

Porter also wanted to make the experience as fun and stress free as possible for the high school students that jumped onboard.

During the process of rehearsals, Porter wanted to make it as fun as possible in order to keep the stress down and the energy up. “From the warmup games to the notes at the end, I tried to keep the energy up without stressing out the cast,” said Porter. “We even had time to have a fun day or two!”

One of Porter’s favorite memories of the show was when he would try to get one of his cast members to laugh to try to ease their stress. There was a part that required a prop that was hidden to be pulled out when needed, until the prop was completed and ready for use, Porter would put random objects in its place.

Through his team’s hard dedication, Porter even dyed his hair pink as what he promised to his student actors.

This show was Porter’s first directing experience and they performed at Lincoln Park middle School on Feb. 4, for a chance to go to state. Unfortunately, that was the last performance of “10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse” for Porter.

However, Porter was proud of his students and was even more grateful for the experience that was offered to him. “The show taught me more about theater than I ever could learn from a textbook,” said Porter.