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The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

A time of goodbye: The Drama Department Edition

The seniors of drama on stage for the Starcatcher awards in a battle against Thor.
The seniors of drama on stage for the Starcatcher awards in a battle against Thor.

As the year is coming to a close, there are a few loose ends that deserve a moment of limelight. The drama department’s last momentous event of the year, the Starcatcher Awards ceremony took place on May 10 where the seniors led a student-written script of their cumulative highlights while in the department with the storyline theme of heroes. It brings about their accomplishments and contributions to the RCHS community.

This past year, the two main shows open to the public to watch were the fall production of “The Play That Goes Wrong” and the spring musical production of “The Little Mermaid.” In a recent survey, 51 RCHS students responded. And while 47.1% of students reported that they have not seen a single show at RCHS, a total of 52.9% have seen one or more showcases. The yearly musical had the highest grossed income from tickets, snacks, and merchandise on the show alone compared to previous years.

Part of the drama department’s success is because of student participation and advertising. The majority of the 27% of student viewers who saw a show, watched the presentation of “The Little Mermaid.” It was also the most well-liked show.

Through the past few years, the shows such as “The Little Shop of Horrors” gained high remarks from 21.6% of students, 16% from other prior shows, 10.8% from this year’s “The Play That Goes Wrong.” Another 10.8% from the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” 8.1% from “CLUE,” 2.7% from “Grease the Musical,” and 2.7% from “Shakespeare in Love” all agreeing that it was their favorite show. Furthermore, 64.3% of students responded that they would like to see another RCHS drama department production while 35.7% of students agree that they are not inclined to see another show.

Student poll responses. (Lizbeth Santoyo)

As this year’s graduating class of seniors take their final bows, many of them have fond recollections and impacts throughout their time as a thespian. 

When asking senior Ethan Park about his favorite show, he recalled being part of “Little Shop of Horrors” and how he went from a lead role to the main leading male role, and his experience working directly with the programs director Mr. James Loudermilk for the first time. It was the people he met that shifted his life in a more positive aspect. 

The exciting parts of the music and puppeteer work for the man-eating plant were not his only lasting impressions of what contributes to the drama department’s vibrant essence.

“Because theater is about stepping into the shoes of a different person, this has helped me when meeting new people, because I learned to imagine them fully to where I’d eventually become their friend,” said Park.

The cast of The Little Mermaid Musical, hug before a show. (Anonymous)

His perspective on being part of the theater department as a performer is what crafted his personality to become an individual who is willing to throw himself in front of people and connect with them. This is an encouraging takeaway while he pursues his studies at Northwestern University, Illinois.

Senior Taryn Abapo shared some of her memories from drama. She recalled the wholesome bonding moment with her latest cast mates in “The Little Mermaid” where each of the mer-sisters got their nails done together in preparation of their roles. Besides her improved skills as an actress, Abapo also agrees that in being part of the program her friendly and social nature have naturally developed.

Although feeling sorrowful in this time of goodbyes to her friends, Abapo closes with, “I look forward to becoming an audience member for the next shows.”

Drama’s cast huddles before a show. (Kimani Banks)

The drama department is an ever-breathing force that continues gathering people into their festivities and on-the-spot challenges because of the environment the members and director strive to achieve. Each person filters in a tone whether direct or indirect that affects the others with how closely people work together on the day-to-day schedule. It takes a consistent effort on all parts to maintain camaraderie.

“We laughed and loved, because we had one thing in common. A space we could feel safe, heard, and accepted. Theatre,” RCHS alumni Abigail Romero said.

In this time of farewell, as everyone takes a step in differing directions, it is important to cherish the moments in which memories were made and to look ahead as each person has more highlights to come. Those who have walked these halls and the laughs and interwoven stories made on-and-off-stage leave a mark. Congratulations to another successful year of drama. The good kind.


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