School Girls Opens the Firestone Theatre Season

School Girls Opens the Firestone Theatre Season
Posted on 09/25/2019
School Girls poster

CONTACT: Mark A. Zimmerman, Theatre Director

Ethan Korvne, Student Publicity Chair

The Akron School for the Arts at Firestone Community Learning Center

(330) 761-3275




New Play Starts New Firestone Season


School Girls Provides a New Take on Mean Girls


Affordable Subscription includes First Chance at Seats for A Chorus Line



(Tuesday, September 25, 2019 – Akron, OH)  -- Firestone Theatre’s new season is set to take off with the upcoming production of the comedy School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh. The play, under the direction of Ashley Aquilla Wheadon, is a gleeful make-over of an American genre exploring the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe. Performances of School Girls will be held at 7:30 p.m. October 3, 4, and 5, 2019.  Tickets to School Girls are $8.00 in advance, $10.00 at the door, and $12.00 for reserved, VIP seating. All tickets are currently available online and at the door on the night of performance. These performances of School Girls represent the first appearance of this play on any stage in the area and may very well be the first high school production altogether.


The cast of School Girls; the African Mean Girls Play is led by seniors Aliyah Evans (Eloise Amponsah), Onaniah Garrett (Mercy), and Airiuana Weber (Paulina Sarpong). The cast is completed with juniors Treasure Brown (Nana) and Armani Ponder-Keith (Gifty) as well as sophomores Nalyssa Grant (Ama), Jada-Lyn Pledger (Headmistress Francis) and eMJay Ross (Ericko Boafo). Sophomore Lanese Lewis serves as the stage manager. She is assisted by senior Joyous White. Senior Ariel Brinker is designing costumes for the play. Senior Sarah Sterns serves as the lighting designers. Junior Alexis Robles serves as the sound designer. Seniors Liev Andrick and Hannah Burford serve as the props designer.  Junior Sofia Zetts serves and the hair and make-up designer. Junior Cierra Jacobs-Mack serves as the scenic designer. James Welch serves as the technical director. Elynmarie Kazle serves as the production manager and props mentor. FHS alumnae Marisa Jones serves as the costume mentor.


Guest director Ashley Aquilla Wheadon is originally from St Louis, MO, and was introduced to performing arts in 2010. Ashley was most recently seen in Playwrights Local, Objectively/Reasonably: a community response to the shooting of Tamir Rice 11/22/14, Ohio City Theatre Project’s Incendiaries, Barbecue at Cleveland Public Theater, and Cornell Calhoun’s Court Square, Talladega Alabama at Cleveland City Hall. Aquilla has directed several pieces including Purses at Karamu House, My Body is Blue at Convergence Continuum, and At Last at Ensemble Theater. She is also a teaching artist for the Cleveland Playhouse. Ashley strongly believes in the efficacy of using entertainment as a catalyst for social awareness and change. Outside of theater Aquilla is a nurse and co-owner of SignGypsiesCleveland.


The next performance on the 2019-2020 season is the fascinating new play After the Blast by Zoe Kazan held in the Black Box Theatre at Firestone CLC. Cutain times for After the Blast are set for 7:00 p.m. on October 24, 25, and 26, 2019, and at 2:30 p.m. October 26 and 27, 2019. Seating is limited and is available online at All seats are general admission and cost $8.oo in advance and $10.00 at the door on the night of performance.


A reasonably priced subscription is available for all Kersker Theater shows and more. An adult subscription can be purchased for as little as $30.00 which represents a 50 percent savings for the season. A student subscription can be purchased for the ridiculously low price of $20.00. A VIP subscription can be purchased for $50.00 and includes a reserved seat for each of the main stage shows, entry to all Black Box Theatre performances, and access to a special VIP room before and at intermission of each Kersker Theater performance. Subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased for all Firestone Theatre productions online at and at the door on the night of performances. Advanced tickets will be available at the school from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. school days the week of each performance. Details about the 2019-2020 theatre season can be found online at


Firestone Theatre provides an excellent audience experience as well as student-centered performances designed to challenge and entertain a discerning audience. The exciting new season includes plays set to appear in the beautifully appointed Kersker Theater with its exquisite acoustics and state-state-of-the-art lighting as well as even more impressive plays in our intimate Black Box Theater which features new seating risers to improve sightlines for all patrons.


Firestone Theatre is the award-winning play and musical-production component of the Akron School for the Arts housed at Firestone Community Learning Center. Firestone Theatre was named an “Outstanding School” by the Educational Theatre Association in 2013. The curricular track of Firestone Theatre is accessible to all rising ninth-grade students via open enrollment and a formal audition.

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