Theater students, faculty discover sense of community, excitement for remainder of year


Sadie Penix

Theatre student and sophomore Theodore Curtis practices his lines and his part in preparation for the “Radio Mystery Theatre.” The cast held their show on Nov. 12 through Nov. 14. The radio show focused on a murder mystery and how the case was solved.

Jasmine Zhang, Student Section Reporter

As spring performances such as Stand Up Comedy Night (April 13 in the Studio Theater) and Verbatim Theatre (April 23 in the Studio Theater) approach, theater students said they are excited to bring forth their best effort and show off all of their hard work. For Theodore Curtis, theater student and sophomore, restrictions put into this place this year made it difficult.

Honestly, I’m pretty impressed with how much we got to do this year. This year’s schedule made it a lot harder to be at our absolute best, but we all worked really hard and made up for that,” Curtis said. 

Curtis is not alone. According to IB Film teacher Jim Peterson, this year has brought many dramatic changes for the students and teachers in theater.

“I had to change the play I directed this year because I wasn’t sure how I was going to rehearse with the class split in two. I ended up doing two short, radio plays that were threaded together by a story of the radio artists behind the scenes,” Peterson said via email. 

However, Curtis and Peterson both said these changes did not impact them negatively, and adapting to these changes went smoothly. 

Grace Fellabaum, theater student and junior, said, “Although this school year has seen many losses, this school year has been the best year of high school for me so far. I have grown very close with my theatre classmates,” she said. “Although there are a lot of restrictions, my theatre friends have made it so easy to get involved and have fun.”

Fellabaum added that all the changes this year made her realize the theatre community is very important to her. 

“These are people I am so grateful for. We are all so supportive of each other and are all interested in theatre, which makes it easy,” Fellabaum said. 

Curtis agreed and said theater has helped a lot in giving a sense of community.

“It’s really cool to be a part of a group after the lockdown and to see other people at practices.” he said. 

According to performing arts teacher Andrew Okerson, it is important for students to be able to find their community in a large school like this one. 

“The performing arts department is one of those great places where participants can express themselves, build one another up and really feel like they belong. Having that social anchor during this difficult year has been a great benefit to many of the students I see each day,” he said.

Additionally, Peterson said he is excited to finally have in-person audiences for upcoming performances.

“We will be performing two more shows in front of live audiences after spring break. Both shows will be in front of limited, live audiences,” Peterson said. “I’m excited to see my students perform stand-up. We didn’t get to do it last year and had to switch to virtual. It’s not the same unless you can hear the audience laughing, which we hope we will get a lot of in a couple weeks.”