By Katie Quigley
After I finished my last year of middle school, I had no idea what I wanted to do in high school. It wasn’t until I went to Shrek, The Musical at JCHS that I realized I wanted to participate in theatre. It was unusual that Theatre Arts Club was what I was drawn to. I’ve always been very quiet; before theatre, I couldn’t even answer a question in class without shaking. However,Theatre Arts has given me so many new experiences that I never thought I would have. The life lessons that the club has taught me are endless.
One of the first things I learned in theatre is that no role is a “small role”. In The Addams Family Musical, I was one of the ensemble members. Before we started rehearsals, I thought that my part in the show was insignificant. After all, when you look at the big picture and consider the leads of the show, the background characters don’t seem like much. However, I soon realized that this was not the case at all. Whether the ensemble members were pushing stairs on stage in between scenes, carrying on and off props, or reacting to the events of the play, there was always something to be done. Being an “ancestor” in The Addams Family kept you on your toes at all time. From the very beginning, it showed me that without every role working together, the show can’t really exist.
Teamwork is crucial to the show running smoothly. The cast members help each other constantly without even realizing it, whether it’s reviewing a big dance number in the hallway, or making sure someone doesn’t forget their cue before they have to go on. Everyone is always there for each other, willing to cooperate to make the show succeed. Knowing that there is always someone that can help you if you need it, adds the security you need to feel confident and put on a good show.
The show’s cast is very diverse. Some kids are loud and outgoing with big friend groups. Some are planning to make a career out of theatre. Then, there are people like me, who come from a small, close-knit group of friends. One of the most surprising things was that no matter where you come from, people somehow become friends. As an introvert, I’ve created friendships with so many extroverted people that I would never have the opportunity to talk to in my high school career.
One of the most important things theatre has taught me is that it is okay to not always be perfect. Before I started theatre, I came from the world of competitive Irish dancing. Although I don’t regret any of my time as an Irish dancer, I always felt like there was an added pressure to be absolutely perfect every time I stepped on stage. When I started theatre, I was afraid that there was going to be the same pressure that I felt as a dancer. Although we rehearse tirelessly to improve the show, we know a mistake is not the end of the world. As a team, everyone works together to recover from any mishap that may happen. Whether it’s a messed up line or a missed dance move, no one stresses over it, we just move on. Not only is that an important lesson for theatre kids to learn, it is also an important lesson to be learned in life.
These few examples are only a couple of the numerous aspects of what I love about the Theatre Arts Club. I often wonder what would’ve happened if I had never gone to Shrek, The Musical, or if I had gotten too nervous on the day of my Addams Family audition. Either way, I am grateful to have been introduced to theatre. Some of the lessons I have learned from this club are ones I will have with me for the rest of my life.