Students Pursue Futures in Performing Arts


Sandhya Ganesan

Career oriented programs and courses offered at the school grant students the opportunity to explore future careers, like that of theater production or cosmetology. Students pictured prepare during tech week for their showcase of Pride and Prejudice, which premiered in October.

Gabby Laurente, Co-Editor-in-Chief

“I’ve been inspired to pursue a higher education in costume design.”

“I plan to pursue acting in film and television.”

“I plan to go into scenic design for theatre.”

Students in performing arts have arguably some of the strongest dedication to their crafts both on and off school campus. While this dedication is certainly impressive, the passion which founds their commitment to the art is not only admirable, but inspirational. 

With hundreds upon hundreds of majors offered to students beyond high school, those who have grown up with a love for the arts allow their fundamental passion to drive their futures. Taylor Needleman, a senior and costume designer for productions, has been driven by her passion for art her whole life. 

“Art is something that’s always been a part of my life. When I was younger I did a lot of visual art. I kind of did everything: painting, sketching, clay. When I was twelve I taught myself how to crochet,” said Needleman. “At first, [theatre] was a hobby, but when the pandemic started and I couldn’t do theatre for a while, it really made me realize that art is an integral part of my life and it is not something that I can leave behind when I graduate.” 

Art and entertainment introduced to students from a young age can be conducive to paving the way for a career path. Connor Keithley, a senior who has been involved in many school productions, became interested in entertainment from a very young age after watching an episode of iCarly. “It truly was nothing more than me thinking it looked fun to be in a movie and all the extra stuff with it came later,” said Keithley. 

What originally started as an interest has now turned into a commitment, one that demands hard work and time. Keithley’s passion alters his life significantly. “Through my training, I learned how to live in the moment and get out of my head when portraying characters on stage. I took this training and applied it to my life outside of theatre and suddenly I’m so much happier with my social life and with my friends because I’m not overthinking every little thing anymore,” he said. 

At first, [theatre] was a hobby, but when the pandemic started and I couldn’t do theatre for a while, it really made me realize that art is an integral part of my life and it is not something that I can leave behind when I graduate”

— Taylor Needleman

Many students in the theatre production field hope to attend a higher education at institutions like Carnegie Mellon, a university in Pennsylvania with a remarkable College of Fine Arts, whose School of Drama appeals to many prospective students.

For many, love for their career is derived from being able to watch others thrive from their work. Actors would not have so much success if not for the audiences, and technical production crews would not be so inspired if not for the actors. 

“What inspired me to pursue [a career in technical theatre] was the volunteer work that I do every Monday. I work with a group of children with special needs/abilities, helping them to gain confidence through singing, dancing, and musical theatre. Watching a spark come alight in each child as they fall in love with the endless possibilities that an art can bring was something really special,” said senior Millie Wilding. 

For Wilding, it was not until high school that they first discovered their potential. “I haven’t always known about this passion in my life. It wasn’t until my junior year that I discovered it and ever since, there hasn’t been a single show that I haven’t been a part of whether I stage managed the show or lighting designed it. I am nearly always at school after hours working on a show, but I wouldn’t want to spend my time any other way,” said Wilding. 

As art is not limited to theatre production, our campus offers numerous opportunities for students who plan to pursue a career in the field, meanwhile offering courses such as ceramics, art, choir, journalism, and more for students to fully explore their artistic potential and pursue their passions well outside of high school.