2024-05-27 11:40 AM

Memorial Day 2024 Issue!

Local High School Theater Seniors Take A Bow for Spring Performances

As the class of 2023 enjoy the last few months of the school year, local seniors involved with their school’s theater department are about to take the stage one last time. 

Around the Little City’s community, Falls Church City Public Schools and surrounding districts are preparing for their spring show or musical, which can be a bittersweet time for those who will be graduating this year. Amid preparation for these spring performances, the News-Press spoke to theater seniors from various local high schools about their emotions on their final show, and how being a part of their theater department impacted their life.

At Meridian High School, senior Isabel Pierce will be performing her last spring show “The Love Doctor,” a French comedy written by Molière about young lovers and a mistaken identity. Taking on the role of Martine, Pierce has been involved in Merdian’s theater department since her freshman year. 

Pierce stated her favorite part of being involved in the theater department has been taking part in the mainstage productions, which allows a theater student like Pierce to present a show they have been working on for a larger audience. Her favorite show from her last four years was last year’s “Tick, Tick … Boom!” production, due to it being a “tight-knit” cast and being one of the first in-person shows since the pandemic. 

Wanting to double-major in theater and another subject while in college, Pierce further stated she will miss the friends she’s made along the way with the theater department. 

“It’s given me a lot more confidence because you’re kind of forced out of your comfort zone,” Pierce stated.

For many seniors, being involved in their theater department has given them more confidence. (Photo: Shawn Northrip)

At local Catholic Bishop O’Connell High School, theater students will be performing “Anything Goes,” a ‘30s-esque musical about antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. This will also be the last show for seniors Kate Stewart, Matthew Secrest and Peyton Bliley, who have been a part of their school’s theater department at various times in their academic careers.

Stewart said she’s always been interested in singing and learned to love the people she was performing with. When she attends Ohio University as an underclassman this upcoming fall, Stewart will be majoring in vocal performance, something theater has given her a love of doing. For Secrest, joining the theater department has given him a “social life” in high school and plans to major in acting or something similar in college. Bliley said being involved with the theater department has given her a chance to make friendships with people “a lot like her,” and that she hopes to join a group or club in college. 

George C. Marshall High School seniors Sara Porjosh and Lia Davila are beginning to rehearse their final spring musical “Xanadu,” a show they were supposed to perform as freshmen before the pandemic began. Porjosh and Davila will be portraying Melpomene and Calliope, an “evil sister duo” in the story that incorporates mythology with an ‘80s flair. 

Porjosh, who is majoring in vocal performance in college, said she still plans to have theater “in her life,” as it has been a way for her to “let loose” and not judge herself on. Although Davila said she doesn’t plan to pursue anything in college that is “arts-related,” she said theater has helped her build confidence and not to take herself too seriously. 

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” will be performed by Falls Church High School’s theater department, with senior Jimmy Benjamin portraying the character of lion king Aslan. Benjamin, who has been involved in theater since eighth grade when he attended school in Guatemala, said his favorite part of the school’s theater department is working with other cast members behind the scenes and onstage. 

Benjamin’s favorite show he has acted in is last winter’s production of “Chicago,” which took on a PG-version of the classic musical. Although he said he won’t be pursuing theater as a career when he attends college, theater has helped him be able to “express himself” in ways he didn’t think of before. 

“I started to just have fun,” Benjamin said. “I was able to come out of my comfort zone to work with new people and raise my confidence.”

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