Being Involved in HS Theatre Plus in Many Ways

Involvement in school-sponsored and community theater troupes allow many high school students to immerse themselves in an experience that lets their minds flow free and their creativity to run wild.


Pictured is the cast of Western Wayne Drama Club's production of Nice Work If You Can Get It. First row, from left: Sam Clemens, Ellen Dwyer, Lily Visceglia, Andie Solimine, Angelina Tornillo, Brandon Davis, and Finn Kruchinski. Second row, from left: Sam Pritzloff, John Kear, Rhonda Fenkner, Honour Shaffer, Ty Alpaugh, R.J. Clemens, Calla Shaffter, Marty Spewak, Jake Jones, Lindsey Karwacki, and Schuyler Chumard. Third row, from left: Ava Compton, Hailey Lightbody, Erin Murphy, Victoria Petrosky, Addie Treibley, Bridget Oppelt, Sarah McAndrew, Emily Barone, Hannah Alleva, Rebeccah King, and Becca Boots. Absent from photo: Maddie Kapschull and Sydney Peet.

Sydney Peet, Staff Writer

Involvement in school-sponsored and community theater troupes allow many high school students to immerse themselves in an experience that lets their minds flow free and their creativity to run wild.

Junior RJ Clemens believes that his dedication to theater can allow his emotions to take control. “It makes me happy and makes me feel free,” RJ comments. Having passions out of school that allow free thought and self-expression not only allow students a chance for freedom, but also for structure and organization.

Theater depends on mutual-understanding, effective communication, and cooperation throughout each phase of a production, and from both the cast and the crew. The cast must cooperate with the stage crew, and the leads with the ensemble. Listening to one another is necessary in putting together a fantastic production. Throughout the planning and execution of a show, students spend hours of their time preparing for auditions, assisting with sets and props, and learning dazzling dance sequences. These demands require scheduling and proper organization – building sets and adjusting physical panels and sound and lighting panels necessitate intimate knowledge. Just as every prop has a place and a use, every member of a company holds their own space and brandishes their individuality.

Theater does not just depend on one person, but a diverse community working in unity. Calla Shaffer, another junior veteran of Western Wayne’s drama department, agrees that theater is greater than one person’s contributions. “Theater helps me understand that everyone works hard to achieve the same goal,” says Calla. The benefits of participating in theater include a sense of community and the development of communication and other soft skills, but there has also been a correlation found between attending live theater and increasing knowledge and tolerance development (good news if participating in theater does not sound appealing)!

Attending live theater helps students to recognize and appreciate what other people think and feel as well as to enhance tolerance. Clemens further acknowledges the impact that theater has had on him through describing his live theater experiences. “Watching live theater is like watching a movie,” says RJ. “The emotions are alive and virtually feel real,” adds RJ. Feeling the emotions given off by a live performance can help people to understand one another better. These are tremendous assets to people in all careers – the arts, business, or the sciences – as understanding other people can lead to a more productive workplace and a more unified society.

Participating in any part of the theatrical process can provide widespread benefits – whether that means you are attending a live show, starring in a feature role, or mixing behind a soundboard. These diverse passions allow each person to understand and support one another, and that is why theater is such a beautiful and inclusive community. Every person has an important place in the theater, so become engaged because, who knows, you may be receiving a TONY one day!