Her hair is slicked into a ponytail and she twiddles her thumbs as the curtains begin to open. His heart beats out of his chest as he cycles through his lines over and over again in his mind. Technicians sort through countless cues and the crowd takes their seats as the ushers close doors and the only light is the harsh spotlight on stage. The show begins as our theater department puts on another captivating performance.
The theater program has put on shows this year ranging from the musical Annie to Sitcom Night, featuring students from every area: Advanced Theater, Theater 1, 2, and 3, Tech Theater (all levels), and even students who have never stepped on the stage.
Ran by Anthony Coffield since the revival of the program in 2014, grounds have already been laid for traditions/annual events such as Sitcom Night, a night of student directed shows based on popular television sitcoms, and the Showcase, a night at the end of the year in which first year students perform pieces to reflect on their growth in the program as well as say a final goodbye to seniors.
“He reignited the program when he came here a few years ago, and he’s turned it into something no one expected to be,” Advanced Theater student Mykenzie Midby said.
Following the success of their past year, the program already has plans set to grow and change as a program in the years to come. Plans include Shakespeare In The Rounds in the Grizzly Commons, a Shakespeare competition, annual events, and a few surprised we have yet to see, according to Coffield.
“ I push the kids really hard, and I get them to continuously do better and better, but if i’m not pushing them, they aren’t going to grow,” said Coffield. “It’s me, I need to be continuously learning to teach them information they don’t already have, and pushing them to do better quality shows.”
Losing 15 seniors in the Advanced Theater class alone, the program sees a large loss in students who helped open the program. Seniors leave with hopes to continue in this industry or use skills they were taught through the program in the past 4 years.
“One thing I’ll take from the program is that you should never be afraid to be a woman in charge,” Advanced Theater student and senior Brooke Nixon said. “You need to keep pushing on, showing what you want, and getting it.”