Lane Unsworth ’15 Infuses Andover’s Drama Scene With Humor

Making her debut during “Think Fast” four years ago at Junior orientation, Lane Unsworth ’15 shielded her face with a black hoodie as she walked across the stage. Once the cheers from her classmates subsided, she made her way to the microphone. When asked her name, she said, without hesitation, “Anonymous.”

While Unsworth has since become known as a comedic prodigy at Andover, she regards her extensive knowledge about Saturday Night Live (SNL) as her greatest achievement.

“I’m inspired by [actors] on SNL like Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers,” said Unsworth. “If I had encyclopedic knowledge of anything, it’s probably SNL. On the Buzzfeed quiz, I got a 17/20. I was pretty proud of myself.”

At the K-8 school Unsworth attended before Andover, students were required to participate in plays regularly. In third grade, Unsworth was cast as two roles that appeared on stage at the same time and remarkably played both. She described this experience as “traumatic.”

Unsworth wrote her first play in eighth grade. The 45-minute play featured a group of 20 students in her class, and, although it was intended to be a class effort, Unsworth was left to write the script by herself.

“It was a really complicated assignment, because the teacher wanted us to write, direct and set up for the play all by ourselves,” said Unsworth. “It was supposed to be this really great play… but made by eighth graders. [My classmates] were looking for guidance and I turned into that person for guidance. I was essentially doing more than my drama teacher.”

Though she initially worried about finding time for artistic pursuits at Andover, Unsworth has been able to pursue her love for theater through a variety of outlets. She has written and starred in several DramaLabs and played a nun with a water gun in Andover’s “The Comedy of Errors.”

“The best DramaLab [that I was in] was called ‘Dick Piston Hotel Detective,’” said Unsworth. “There’s this one part where [Sam Kane ’16] shot this gun and I have this plastic hand that I’m holding in my sleeve. Right as he shoots, I let go of the hand so it looks like he shot my hand off. It was really funny, because the gun-shot noise was replaced with a different noise by accident. It was like a bell noise or something.”

Kane said, “[Unsworth] has a constant energy in everything she does. In our DramaLab, she always showed up ready to go and eager to prepare for the final performance. She’s great at communicating a lot of emotions without using a lot of words.”

Last year, Unsworth decided to expand her love for theater and comedy by founding a sketch-comedy group, aptly named “Sketchy.” Unsworth and the other members of Sketchy began writing their skits last winter and held their first performance, composed of ten skits, last spring. This year, however, Unsworth wants to feature student stand-up comedians to give new voices a chance to showcase their talents.

“[Unsworth] is an excellent actor because she takes on the roles of people who say extremely funny things without cracking a smile or anything, so I’m always impressed by Lane’s performances,” said Karissa Kang ’17, a close friend of Unsworth and new member of Sketchy.