Lana Noreen Taylor loves to write.
Most of the time she writes screenplays.
A ninth-grade student at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, where she is taking three film-making classes, Taylor said she has completed 10 feature film scripts and has written about a dozen more that are unfinished.
Her goal “is to be a film director or producer.”
“I really like story telling and I like telling people what to do,” she said.
She’s now written her first play. She wrote it at the request of Paul Steinback, pastor at Coastal Baptist Church, which her family attends. Steinback asked her last year to write a Christmas play.
At the time, Lana had a title: “Spoiled Milk & Burnt Cookies.”
She set out to create a musical story that would go with that title. She wrote the play, which is about 60 minutes long, first by hand, before typing it into a computer.
It took her most of the summer to finish her tale, about four young girls who are forced to spend Christmas with their grandma, who tells them stories from the Bible. At first, the kids dislike the experience. But eventually they start to bond with their grandma over the story of the birth of Jesus.
Lana’s cast is made up of 14 children she knows, including her younger sister, Halle, 11, who plays the youngest sister, and Steinback’s children. Most of her cast members have been directed by Lana before. She has made about 50 short films.
For the last three months, her cast has been rehearsing under Lana’s direction each Sunday and occasionally on Wednesday and Friday. There will be two more dress rehearsals this week.
Then at 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the cast will perform the show at the church, 750 Girvin Road. Admission will be free to the church, which seats 160 people. For more information about the play go to www.spoiledmilkandburntcookies.com.
Now Lana said she is making plans to do more productions at the church.
It was obvious from an early age to her parents, Eric and Tamara Taylor, that Lana would be well served by attending arts magnet schools, her mother said.
“She’s just constantly creating, putting on a show,” Tamara Taylor said.
So Lana attended Pine Forest School of the Arts for elementary school, and LaVilla School of the Arts for middle school, and is now attending Douglas Anderson.
When she’s not writing, she is often reading. She’s a big fan of such series as Harry Potter, the Hunger Games and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”
Charlie Patton: (904) 359-4413