Wendy is a short film about a quiet but imaginative eighth grader who attempts to find the courage to approach her secret crush while working on a production of Romeo & Juliet.
One of the big inspirations for Wendy was being able to create something that could give young Queer folks their own over the top, in your face, middle school love story. With an abundance of content out there featuring young boy-girl love stories as the main plot point, I wanted to give representation to the young Queer students that deserve to see themselves reflected on the screen.
But as far as actually taking the steps to produce the film, Cab Calloway School of the Arts, my alma mater in Wilmington, DE, and the Cab 8th grade theatre majors are what made me want to make this film happen! Once I started to ponder the idea of making this film at my old high school with the current 8th grade students, it just seemed like our team had to make the film and we had to make it now.
I was very focused on the educational aspect of providing the students with the experience of working on a professional film set at such a young age. I thought a lot about how amazing an opportunity like working on this film would have been to me at that age, as it would’ve opened up so many more possibilities to me than I knew were available at the time. I wanted these students to be able to experience that and see for themselves what it’s like to make a film from scratch!
Wendy should fill audiences with a sense of wonder, magic, and glee. I want LGBTQIA students to see their story fully realized in the film and I'm confident that non-LGBTQIA audiences will still leave feeling seen and recognized. It’s a relatable story--we’ve all had that deep, all-encompassing teenage crush that we can’t get off of our mind. I think we’ve captured that essence really well in this film. I hope audiences leave this film and share their own stories of their most wonderful and embarrassing moments with the crushes that shaped who they are today.
-Maren Lavelle (Director, Producer)
cast & creative team
Maren Lavelle (Director, Producer) is a director, writer, and producer, and the co-founder of NYC-based production company, One-Eyed Rabbit. A graduate of Pace University's BFA Acting Program, and an original member of the José Rivera Writer's Group, Maren’s plays have premiered in various venues in NYC: Composition of a Woman (Westside Theatre, 440 Layfayette Studios), The Holding Room (The Sheen Center). Maren's screenwriting and directing are featured in the short films The Yard (2019) and Beyond Bone (2018). In 2020, Maren co-wrote and directed the short films Maya (Best Writer of a Short @ Chain NYC Film Festival, Best Performance @ Astoria Film Festival ) and Keeper (2020 ScreenCraft Film Fund Semifinalist). Website: marenlavelle.com
SOLange "Sol" TRAN (Director of Photography) is a Philly-based Director of Photography and Ronin Operator. She is a UCF graduate and has worked countless hours on sets of TV shows, live events and most recently--films. Her work has premiered at Rhythm and Reels Drive-In theatre in NJ ("Reel Life" TV Pilot, 2020) and Landmark's Ritz Five in Philly ("A Cold Kill" short film, 2021). Her TV Pilot "Reel Life" has won numerous film fest awards for Best Pilot/Best Web/TV Series. She looks forward to filming more narrative work. Website: solangetran.com
ava ramey (Wendy) (she/her) is a fifteen-year-old actress who goes to Cab Calloway School of the arts, majoring in theatre and vocal. Ava has always found love in stage and film acting, alongside of a big love for singing, starting theatre around the age of 10. Some of her favorite performances include Matilda, The Wizard of Oz, and of course her first short film, Wendy, where she says she had the best experience possible.
lexie rubincan (Cassie) (she/her) is a teen actress who has grown up with a passion for theatre, writing, directing, and performing overall, starting in the theatre around 5 years old, and beginning script writing and directing in middle school. Lexie attends Cab Calloway School of the Arts as a theatre and vocal major in high school, doing performances there, as well as at theaters close to her home, like the Wilmington Drama League. Lexie describes working on Wendy, in June 2021, as such a favorite, incredible experience with a message that is so important to her.
Matt Steiner (Writer, Producer, Mr. Hansen) is an actor, writer, and producer, and one of the co-founders of One-Eyed Rabbit. As an actor, Matt has toured the country, performed Off-Broadway, and in film & television. From 2012-2017, Matt served as the Co-Artistic Director of The Representatives, a site-specific theater company, producing and starring in over 15+ original productions. Matt’s writing credits include Maya (Best Writer of a Short, Chain NYC Film Festival), Keeper (2020 ScreenCraft Film Fund Semifinalist), The Thing I Never Told You, and Little Dick (2019 Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition Second Rounder). Website: themarevelousmrmatt.com