The community within theater


Owen Cummings

Members of the theater department put up this poster to encourage positivity in the school community. The poster is signed by dozens of WHHS students and shares many messages of love.

Theater is a powerful thing. It can make you laugh, and it can make you cry. It has the ability to withstand hundreds of years and still remain relevant, and it can alter the government’s decision to take Alexander Hamilton off the ten dollar bill. But its most distinct quality is how it can be a form of expression for those who didn’t have one before, and how it can bring hundreds of people together over one subject matter, be it on or offstage.

Theater at WHHS has the same impact on people, as well as serving as a break from the stresses of high school.

“Rehearsal is a place you can go to forget about everything else for two hours,” Sophia Rooksberry, ‘22, said. “It’s just you and your friends enjoying each other’s company within those four walls.”

While it does serve as a separation from the school aspect of WHHS, it also keeps the aspect of the large amount of people, making it a great place to hang out with or make new friends.

“There is always someone to talk to, and it is such a diverse group of people that I learn so much from everyone,” Lucia Johns, ‘22, said.

On top of there being a diverse group of people involved with a show, everyone is striving toward a common goal, to put on a great show for the audience. Whether you are the lead role or an ensemble member, you face the same challenges and rewards that every other person is facing when it comes to theater.

“Whether onstage or backstage, everyone becomes so completely vulnerable, which helps them deliver an amazing performance and form long-lasting friendships,” Rooksberry said.

But theater isn’t just a place where you can discover things about other people.

“I recently performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Johns said. “I learned so much about myself and my abilities, and I was only able to do that because of the support around me.”

Whether you are working backstage on crew, watching from the audience or being dramatic onstage, theater can serve as a place for hundreds of people to feel like they are a part of something big, and the fact that every part is so integral to the success of the show means that no part is more important that the others.

“I am grateful to the department for being a sanctuary for me in the stressful halls of Walnut,” Rooksberry said. “And I hope I stay a part of it for the rest of my time at Walnut.”