- Student Spotlight
I have always been a drama queen. From telling stories to my family at the top of my lungs to performing at a small local theatre, I just adore acting. So, when I was looking at prospective middle schools, one of the things I had my eye out for was a good performing arts program. I love the arts in general, so the right school for me would allow students opportunities to make music, theatre, and art. Stanley Clark offered all three. In my fifth-grade year here, I was so excited to audition for the 5th and 6th-grade spring play, The Trial of Tom Sawyer. I had never read Mark Twain, but the summary made it sound exciting, and I was hoping for the role of Huckleberry Finn, Tom’s trusted friend and sidekick. It was a boy’s role, but I didn’t care. I ended up with the role of Joe Harper, another boy in the story, who comes along with Tom and Huck Finn when they run away, and then comes with them to their own funeral after they all pretend to have died. I had so much fun with this role! The whole play felt like its own little town, with all the different people having true personalities. There were no “ensemble members” -- everyone had their own names and things to say and do that made them unique.
The next year I participated in a play called The Great Cross-Country Race, and while the title sounded a bit weird to me, I soon found out that it was just the well-known tale of the tortoise and the hare. To my great joy, I was cast as the Hare! This was an honor, but it was also a very demanding role. I had only two pauses in the entire play: one in the first scene (the Hare was late to the community meeting); the other near the end when the Dog was talking to the Squirrel (my friends Elliott and Lyndsay). I couldn’t really take a break at either of these moments either, because everything went so fast. After each performance, I was exhausted and out of breath, as though I really had run a cross-country race! I loved how, like in Tom Sawyer, everyone had a special role to play and there weren’t really any ensemble members -- each character was important and unique. My friend Isabela played the Tortoise, a wise, kind, old creature that was always spewing out inspirational moral lessons.
I think that Ms. C. had my best interest in mind when she cast me as the Hare, but I must say that it was a very difficult role for me because the Hare is the villain in this story. For a long time, as I was learning the part, I just couldn’t slip into the skin of this horrible creature! And it was even harder to be the enemy of my friends who were all kind and sympathetic protagonists! It was the type of role that I didn’t want to play too convincingly, because I certainly wouldn’t want to alienate my classmates. But I learned to overcome my hesitations and fully take on this role, and even felt flattered when some younger kids came up to me after the show and asked me if I was really that mean! This is a wonderful metaphor for my experience at Stanley Clark, where Ms. C., like my other teachers, has worked hard to make me take on new tasks and stretch my abilities.
- Class of 2021