Los Angeles Screenwriter’s Pens Drop For Wabeno High School // WJFW Newswatch 12


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Photo by WJFW Newswatch 12

Lilly Zoller story

Local News Posted 10/27/2021 13:51, Last updated 10/27/2021 18:25

Wabeno – A native of Wisconsin, Dick Grunert wrote his first play when he was in his final year of high school in Cedarburg.

“It was just this amazing experience for me as a high school teenager,” said Grunert, a writer. “I was what, 17? Hearing my lyrics on stage and, you know, for a small town like Cedarburg, that was a big deal.”

All thanks to his drama teacher, Janet Newton.

“What really made this special to me and changed my life a bit is having someone like Janet, who is neither a parent nor a parent, who truly believes in me as a writer, ”said Grunert.

He took that confidence to Los Angeles, where he now lives and writes for many movies and TV shows. He never forgot the drama teacher who started it all.

“Earlier this year she said, ‘Hey, I accepted a teaching job at Wabeno High School, and I’m going to direct a fall play and you want to write it?’ and I was like ‘OK, sure,’ “said Grunert.

This year’s play is called “The Switcheroo”. Grunert’s goal was to write something that students could really relate to and that reflects the truth of teenage life.

“I think it’s pretty special in its own way,” said Sunshine Nelson, a final year student at Wabeno High School.

Nelson plays love interest in the play. The role gives her the chance to do what she loves, which is to perform in front of an audience.

“It’s really hard to be honest because I’ve never really done it before,” said Nelson.

Another actor, Wabeno senior Alex Adamczyk, says it’s his first time in a play. Years of real-world experience, however, make playing its part feel natural.

“Honestly, I feel the same way I have felt all my life being basically bullied since elementary school,” Adamczyk said.

It looks like Grunert achieved his goal because Alex says acting in this role has helped him shake off the difficult experiences of his past.

“I feel like I’m finally having fun doing something,” said Adamczyk.

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