Drama Llamas presents “Firebringers”: an entirely student-led production


Hayes Duenow, Photo and Podcast Editor

While the theater seats filled with guests excited to see the Drama Llamas’ student-run production of “Firebringers,” performers gathered backstage in a candle circle.

The candle circle is a tradition in which performers form a circle around a candle on opening night to discuss the significance of the show to them. 

However, instead of using a candle for this production’s candle circle, they used a toy duck — one of the main props in the show. Junior Lindsay McKinley, who played Grunt, said that while it may be a sappy moment — where everyone cries — it is a “moment of community and family.”

“Firebringers” on May 10 was the Drama Llamas’, a student-led drama club, first show in three years. The group has been preparing for the show since holding auditions in Nov of 2021. Soon after, they began rehearsals in Jan.

“Firebringers” was set during the pre-stone age, before the discovery of fire. A “flock” of people, led by character Jamila, were trying to survive by gathering berries and spending their nights huddled together in their cave hiding from Snarl, the saber tooth tiger.

“After Zazzalil, [one of the members of the flock] accidentally discovered fire while out of the cave during a lightning storm. She changed the way of life for the members of the flock,” McKinley said.

Additionally, working on a completely student-run production had its disadvantages and advantages. Sophomore Evie Stirman, who played Jamila, and McKinley both agreed that the cast sometimes struggled to separate their roles as friends from their roles as leaders.

“I’m really good friends with all the directors so having them be like authority figures, you definitely have to flip the switch and be prepared to listen to them and do whatever they say,” McKinley said.

On the other hand, having student directors meant they were more understanding of the cast member’s limitations. Stirman said the directors were more aware of upcoming conflicts, such as AP testing, because they are also students with similar conflicts. The directors were approachable and gave great advice because they were dealing with similar school pressures, Stirman said. 

Beyond the student directors, the general cast community made the show even more memorable, according to McKinley.

“[The cast] would have meetings on weekends where we would build the props and we’d paint things…We would be preparing costumes that mostly came from all the cast member’s closets,” McKinley said. “There was a lot of sharing. So unlike a traditional production in which everything is kind of provided for us, we definitely had to provide for ourselves. But that kind of made it more special because we had this connection to everything we were doing, which was really fun.”

Stirman said she is most proud of her fellow cast members and the growth they demonstrated growing into their characters. 

“I’ve never been in a show where everyone was so well suited for their characters,” Stirman said. “When you saw them outside, you fully expected them to be acting like they did in the show.”

Given this was Drama Llamas’ first show since 2019, McKinley said the cast wanted to share the magic of theater and “bring Mountain View theater back to life.” 

Above all, they wanted to give the audience something silly to laugh at and “reawaken the spirit of musical theater,” McKinley said.