Teen Life: Curtain Call
By Alora Popish
The most important thing in high school is not getting a boyfriend or girlfriend, having 100 friends or even being the most popular kid in your class. High school is about discovering who you are and developing as that person, and, to me, the theatre is the best place to do that.
People not raised around the theatre usually don't acknowledge how much blood, sweat and tears are put into being in theatre. People in the audience tend only to see the final production, not realizing the astronomical amount of work that went into that elaborate hour and a half theatrical masterpiece. For instance, in a high school production, you have teenagers portraying characters who are dealing with the loss of a loved one, falling in love or being forced out of their homes due to other people’s ignorance. Most high schoolers haven’t experienced these things, and yet they portray it so beautifully.
This is mostly in part due to the chemistry between the cast and the crew, not just on stage but off stage, too. Participating in a production, you have no choice but to become close, to become a family. You learn each other’s flaws, each other’s hardships, each other’s lives. For example, one night at rehearsal, a group of the cast members and I sat in a circle and shared stories of when were were our most vulnerable, and we began to build an unbreakable bond. You spend almost every day with these people and the end result is not just applause and a standing ovation, but memories and relationships that will last a lifetime.
Theatre not only builds relationships, but it helps you express and develop yourself. Acting is one of the best forms of therapy for getting over speaking in front of people. I used to be petrified to speak in front of even five people, but after one semester of theatre, I was able to perform in front of a whole auditorium. Acting is also sometimes the only way a person can express themselves. People who have never had a place in life suddenly have a place: a home. Growing up watching theatre you develop an appreciation for the arts. Just watching theatre helps shape you into a better person. Exposing kids to any type of theatre helps develop children’s imagination. Children’s imaginations are the building block for our future, so it’s very important to develop their imagination as soon as possible.
Theatre is a place where people from all different walks of life merge together and create a masterpiece. In theatre, you have the jocks, the band geeks, the die-hard theatre fans, the social outcasts and so many others. I think that’s what makes it so wonderful. Just recently my high school closed out it’s last night of our spring musical and after our bows, a few cast members came to me and said pretty much the same thing, and that was, “Here I feel home, I feel like I have a family.” Kids who are bullied and who feel alone suddenly have a horde of people who love them and consider them to be as close to them as family.
The theatre is an amazing place where people are allowed and encouraged to be who they truly are. People in theatre are some of the best people to be around. They can not and will not judge you, simply because the theatre is filled with all kinds of people.
If you want a life-long family, then the theatre is for you. I, for one, am so very grateful for my amazing theatre family.