There are a few well known urban legends among the cast and crew of Lakeville North’s Drama department. Such as, never paint your first and last name on the first lighting rig in the auditorium, and that the ghost of the girl who committed this innocent act of graffiti still haunts the theatre.
As absurd as it may seem, stories such as these have been passed down throughout the years student by student, becoming more than just another rumor spread by the cast, but rather a legacy to be remembered.
The Wizard of Oz opened last Friday, November 4th to positive reviews from friends, families, and spectators alike.
“I liked how kids from both elementary and middle school participated in the performance, Freshman Bria Drenk said.
Each of the show’s leads, seniors and lead technicians have played a huge role to ensure the success of the final product. Coined by the cast as the “Fab5”, senior Lilliana Olson (Dorothy), junior Chloe Mutebi (the Scarecrow), 8th grader Erin Enabnit (Toto), junior Zach Peick (the Cowardly Lion), and freshman Evan Bowen (the Tin Man) all have their own individual yet harmonious perceptions of what it means to be apart the theatre family.
With the exceptions of Bowen and Enabnit, the members of the “Fab5,” not to mention their fellow seniors on the cast and crew, have all seen the LNHS theatre department grow and change in the last few years. Just as the legacy of a girl who haunts the theatre is passed down as the years go by, so too have the legacies of former alumni who are still known and loved to this day.
Peick, a Theatre Club captain said he admires ‘16 graduate Aubry Beckman, because “everything she embodies as a person is ideal.”
Other cast members agree with him in saying that Beckman has left a great legacy within the theatre family. Even the nickname “mombry” still sticks in the hearts of many students because of the kind and benevolent way she included every single person into the family.
Grace Hjort, a junior who plays Mrs. Gulch, said, “we struggled a bit this year without our tech gods Soleille Miller and Kyle Power.”
It’s legacies such as these that keep alive a spirit of motivation with every cast and crew member of the theatre department and make them consider what they want their own legacies to be.
“I guess I want people to remember me as a person who didn’t ever exclude anyone, I want to be remembered as being including of everyone instead of making it a clique,” Olson said.
Through the eyes of the upperclassmen in theatre, keeping every member of the “family” as included as possible is incredibly important.
“What I really want is that people to think: “hey you know that Zach kid? He’s pretty cool and he did a lot for this theatre program, and I hope to contribute as much as he did someday,” Peick said.
To Bowen, Peick has already shaped this legacy.
“I feel like the person I look up to the most is Zach,” Bowen said. “He’s very welcoming, and out of everyone he’s my like mentor I guess.”
Bowen said that he aims to be what Zach is to him, by guiding someone younger than him to be a better actor under his guidance. It’s aspirations such as this that keep the hearts of every member of the department warm with the altruism of friendship.
Both Olson and Peick say they look forward to the day they can look back on their time in the theatre department and reminisce in the memories they once lived through.
The theatre department is most certainly one big family that is a safe place for anyone looking for a place to fit in. Captain Autumn Wilkie said, “It doesn’t really matter what grade you’re in, or what your story is, or you know, what your personality is, there’s always gonna be someone who’s looking out for you.”
Not only do those who perform together on stage feel this sense of belonging, but those who work the show backstage share this feeling as well. Theatre is truly a home away from home for those searching for something bigger than themselves.
“Theatre has brought us together and kept us together,” Stage Manager Mari Shimota said.