By AK Alilonu ’16
Despite many of the leaders of Student Theater graduating this year, including Phillip Rapa ’14, Jacob Browning ’14 and Jeremiah Johnson ’14, members of the club insist that it has a bright future.
Student Theater was founded in 2012, when founders and current co-presidents, Rapa and Browning, were sophomores, making its debut with “A Very Potter Musical.”
Browning directs with Rapa, acts and played music for the most recent Student Theater production, “The Bronco Room.”
He said that Student Theater provides an acting experience unrivaled by school productions.
“It gives kids a chance to not worry about whether they’re auditioning for a big show or which directors they’re going to impress or which parts they’re going to get,” Browning said.
Another active participant, Kate Gmelich XCP ’14, writes plays for Student Theater and said she admires the club for its autonomy.
“It allows you to feel a lot more independent because you do the work yourself,” she said. “You’re doing it because you want to.”
But the experience is not limited to the students.
Ms. Jessie Mason supervises rehearsals and serves as the club’s moderator.
“It’s really incredible to see all that hard work come together,” she said. “I don’t mind volunteering time at all.”
Another aspect of the club that members said they enjoy is the sense of community.
“It’s like a family,” said actor Paige Kec XCP ’16.
Others said they fell in love with the warm environment.
Emily Wood XCP ’16 said Student Theater participants are some of the most accepting people she has ever met, while another dramatist, Aidan Cunningham ’16, called his fellow actors “some of the smartest guys and gals” he knows.
And the actors are not the only ones with positive feedback.
Rodolfo Saldana Rodriguez ’16, who played music for “The Bronco Room,” said he feels as much a part of the club as any thespian.
“You honestly belong with everybody, whether you’re an actor or not,” Rodriguez said.
Sometimes, it’s harder not being an actor, as David Levy ’15 would say.
As Tech Director, Levy is in charge of administrating props, lights and sound for every production, and gets things ready in mere days. According to Levy, this workload does not affect his view of Student Theater.
“I do six plays every year, and I love it,” he said.
Many of the members describe their participation as an experience worth having.
“I get an excuse to make a fool of myself on stage,” said actor Joe Welty ’16.
Others owe much more to their participation in the organization.
“I got a lot of friends I probably wouldn’t have ever met,” said Tessa Keough XCP ’14. “I probably wouldn’t have done regular theater, had I not done this.”