Playing Their Own Way: Theater program fosters creative team experience


Natalie Martinez

In the lead role of Anne, freshman Tess Sollars took on her second Miege production after starring in “Mary Poppins” in the fall. As a freshman, having the lead role could be intimidating, but Sollars was not worried about her ability to perform. “There was a lot of pressure to be good, but I was confident in what,I could do,” Sollars said.

Kate Moores, Staff Writer

The sound of a dribbling basketball echoes through a packed gym, the crowd silent, yet filling the space with anticipation. A 3-pointer hangs in the balance of a star basketball player — all eyes are on him.
In the middle of a dark stage, another student is in the spotlight. She eloquently delivers her lines as the audience watches her full of emotion.
Both of these students are in the limelight of their own production. Hours of practice went into this moment, and they play their parts perfectly. Players on the bench and actors behind the curtains support them all the way. However, the winter play offered a different kind of team bond.
According to seniors Clare O’Brien and Paul Ruf, the theater program nurtures unique connections among students of any kind.
“You’re spending more time with people during rehearsals, and you end up connecting with new people in ways that may not be possible during a normal sports practice,” Ruf said, who played Matthew Cuthbert in the play, “Anne of Green Gables.” “It goes beyond having rehearsals every day; you have to work on characterization, memorizing lines and blocking with your crew.”
For the students in theater, each week is different. Depending on their role and how close it is to the show, practice could go until 6 p.m. each day after school and some weekend days.
The students have to work closely with each other to ensure their characters are working together how they need to in order to create a solid production.
“Each show is so intricate; every individual plays an essential part in making it happen.” said O’Brien, who played Marilla Cuthbert. According to those involved in the play, every practice is a mental exercise.
In addition to having their lines memorized and blocking perfected, each cast member has to decide what emotions they need to put into a scene so they play their parts well.
“When a character is outside of your usual behavior and actions it can honestly get pretty draining,” O’Brien said. “I really have to dig deeper to place myself into a different mindset.”
While a character may require certain feelings to be displayed, it is also necessary that they work well with others on the stage. According to Ruf, a new character takes personal experience to portray.
“To get my character down, I like to relate all of my lines to something in my life that I can connect to,” Ruf said. “This makes it easier to be one with my character and enhance the characterization.”
A production goes beyond those in the spotlight.
The theater program offers a wide array of opportunities to get involved in a meaningful way.
“We wouldn’t be able to do the show without the tech people — they are vital,” Ruf said. “There are many roles that need to be filled for Anne of Green Gables, which allows for so many students to get involved.”
The theater program serves as a host for a variety of creative expressions. From performers to painters, the tech-savvy to directors, students collaborate to bring a production to life.
“There is so much variety in who participates in the play,” O’Brien said. “Any student can join and play an important role.”