Differences between participating in theater in and out of the high school


Ella Kitterman, Staff Writer

Junior Charlotte Palmucci plays the role of the fox in Trumpet of the Swan at Wheelock Family Theater in 2015. Photo provided by Palmucci.

At the high school, students who act are faced with the choice of whether they should perform with the drama department or seek opportunities elsewhere. However, there are many factors that influence students to chose one environment over the other.

Sophomore Eve Crawford, who participated in the Shakespeare play “Lear,” said that doing theater at the high school provides access to a supportive community.

“You get a bunch of people from all different grades that are very supportive and nonjudgmental,” said Crawford.

Crawford said that she believes that doing theater inside the school provides support from teachers, peers and the high school itself.

“It gives you confidence that you’re going to be supported because you have friends and family watching you,” said Crawford.

Sophomore Alec Shiman has always participated in theater outside of the high school. According to Shiman, similar theater experience is gained whether one participates at the high school or outside companies.

“It is hard to balance homework and schoolwork with doing theater, but it’s pretty much [like] doing any sport: you just find the time. For example, I do homework when I am not on stage performing or not needed for rehearsal,” said Shiman.

Junior Charlotte Palmucci, who has taken part in productions in and outside of the high school, said that doing theater outside of school provides students with a larger age range of people to interact and work with.

“I have friends who are 10 and I have friends who are in their 60s and you don’t get that inside the school which is something that I really like about the outside of the school theater community,” said Palmucci.

According to Palmucci there are also negative aspects to acting in front of your own community, mostly because the audience’s familiarity with the actors can hinder their interpretation of the character.

“I think it’s harder for an audience to see a character, because they just see their friend on stage reading lines,” she said.

According to Palmucci, performing in front of an audience full of strangers helps the audience effectively slip into the story.

“Where outside of school you’re performing for people you don’t know and for the most part you’re trying to captivate an audience who doesn’t know you,” Palmucci said. “Which is a really different experience than captivating an audience that knows you quite well and spends all their time with you.”

According to Crawford, participants benefit from theater no matter where they do it.

“Theater helps with confidence and just being able to express yourself and speak your mind,” said Crawford. “It’s just a really fun thing to do because it helps you bond with other people and in general it’s just really great.”