High school students across the district are working around the clock to bring powerful, inspiring, delightful characters to life on stage. Here's a glimpse at what's coming soon to a stage near you in Katy ISD.
(Opening photo of Taylor High School's recent musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat)
KATY MAGAZINE | February 2018
By Angie Waller
Photography courtesy of Katy ISD theater departments
Tompkins Shrek, the Musical
Feb 1 - 2 @ 7 p.m.Feb 3 2 & 7 p.m.
Bringing a classic to life
Junior Caylie Howard stars as Princess Fiona. Caylie has been involved in 6 productions at Tompkins High school. She says, “I love that Fiona is quirky and independent, yet a hopeless romantic at heart. Fiona is basically an amped up version of my own personality. We both love to have fun and make jokes, but sometimes we make situations a bit awkward and amusing.” She plans to major in musical theater and says “Theatre has taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. It has shown me that going through life with a team of people who love you can make the journey much more enjoyable. Every character that I have had the privilege to play has taught me more about myself and who I want to be. I believe that this will help me immensely when I get out into the real world.”
Conquering fears through performing
Junior Sydney Novosad will take on a number of roles including Humpty Dumpty, Teen Fiona, Blind Mouse #2, Duloc Dancer, and Rat Dancer. She has been involved in 8 productions at OTHS. “My experience in theatre will help me later in life as it has provided me with the ability to communicate my thoughts and emotions effectively and has helped me get over my fear of public speaking, “ she says. Senior Emma Greffe will be the Assistant Stage Manager. She says “My experience in the theatre company will help me cope with responsibility in the future, has give me good organizational skills and given me a place to fit in throughout high school.”
Expressing themselves through their characters
Dragon will be played by Junior Ever Williams. “What I love most about my role is that the characterization is so easy because, I am Dragon, and Dragon is me, so I literally get to play myself on stage. I relate to the character I play because, she is sassy, she is classy, and sometimes her life can be a little trashy, and I happen to be a sassy classy mess so it was perfect for me," she says.
Cinco Ranch High
The Music Man Feb. 1 - 2 @ 7 p.m.
Feb. 3 @ 1:30 & 7 p.m.
Learning from their characters
“The Music Man” will star senior Kaia Helmer as Marian Paroo. She says,” I like that Marian is very intelligent yet feminine. I was not expecting that type of personality in a classical musical.” Kaia has been involved in 11 Including main stage and UIL productions.
Through theater she has learned two main things from theater. Through the roles she has played and studied, she has learned how to empathize and understand people different from her. She says she has learned to wait to pass judgment. She also learned a lot about leadership. In her four years she’s had four different directors therefore students have had to step up and take on a lot a leadership through the transitions. She relates to her character in The Music Man because she has a similar relationship with her mom as Marian does with hers. She loves her mom and can be extremely annoyed with her in the same way. Kaia says that Marian is the same way.
Alyssa Watkins plays Eulalie Shinn and she and her character both make the most of their big personalities. "We are each true to ourselves. She is the mayor’s wife so she can pretty much do what she wants and be who she wants to be. I want to play her up. I don’t want to be afraid to make her too big. I want everyone to know I can do this," she says.
Great experience for any career path
The Set designer Arya Bhakare says about her experience in theater “I want to pursue a medical career. I think theater is great for any career. In the real world, you need to be able to talk to people and get your ideas across. If you can’t do that, you can’t work with others and get goals accomplished. I have learned to talk to people and adjust to people’s personalities. You have to put all the personal drama aside to achieve a common goal Theater has really brought me out of my shell. ” She decided to take on the position because she felt she would be a good leader. She could bring her ideas to the table as well. Something else that is very important to her is teaching the future company members to take over once the seniors graduate. She says “You don’t have a future if you don’t prepare for it. I love teaching the underclassman - that is the most important thing about my job as crew head.”
Senior Travis Eckert is the assistant student technical director, and has been involved in nine total shows in theater. He belives his experience in theater will help him a lot after graduation. “ [Theater] gives you the opportunity at a young age to take on leadership roles. That is a very important skill to go into the real world having those experiences. Also the professionalism offered to you is real. Theater holds you to a high standard and this is also a trait that will help you in the real world.”
Senior Avery Conner will be the stage manager for the one-act play Dead Man's Cell Phone on March 10. He plans on being a theater teacher and says, “This experience will help me to grow to be a better teacher. It has helped me to interact with people and how to speak better. It has helped me learn about different people in the roles I have played.”
Seven Lakes High
Eat Your Heart Out
Feb 1 - 2 @ 7 p.m.
Feb 3 @ 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Tickets: studiovii.org (Adults $15, Students $12)
"This show is a fast paced comedy about Charlie, a would be star of Broadway, TV or Film, if he can just get that one big break," says technical director, Josh H. Set in Manhattan, the show revolves around a single restaurant setting while Charlie tries to make ends meet. He encounters hilarious, yet slightly tragic characters and somehow, they all have a connection. Charlie will be played by Jared Guidry.
Mayde Creek High
In The Heights
Feb 25 - 26 @ 7 p.m. Feb 27 @ 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Tickets: mchstheatre.org (Adults $12, students $10 at the door)
Learning who you are
Senior Ashley Galan plays Camila Rosario. She loves the duality of Camila Rosario. She makes her voice heard and demands to be seen as equal to Kevin, her husband. However, she also supports and cares for her family and friends as the warm neighborhood mom. She see her character as a strong woman with a soft heart. Ashley has been involved in the cast or crew of 13 high school productions and plans to major in theater after high school. The experience has given her confidence both on and off the stage. “Theatre has built many skills for me - teamwork, work ethic, time management, memorization and patience. It has allowed me to understand the depth and mentalities of various types of characters that we see as people in everyday life, " she says.
Junior Mariana Velandia will play Carla. Her favorite part of her character is how versatile her personality is and how she brings a lot of comic relief to the show. She says, “I relate to the character in that she wants to see the best in people and has an extent of innocence that most of the other characters don’t posses.”
Plans for the future
Daniela will be played by Junior Glendaliris Torres Greaux. After high school Glendaliris plans on majoring in Musical Theatre, and hopes one day to write her own production. She says, “I relate to Daniela because we are both from Puerto Rico, and as Latina women, we are both vibrant, happy people who always look out for their loved ones.”
Anton in Show Business - UIL One-Act Play
March 7 @ Tomball High School
The Panthers will be performing in the 5A section while all other Katy schools are in the 6A category. They will compete against Cy Fair ISD's Bridgeland and Cy Park teams, Klein Cane, Brenham, and Tomball High School at Tomball HS. Only 3 schools will advance to the district competition. With only freshmen and sophmores they will attempt to beat established schools with juniors and seniors with all-female cast written to play all-male characters throughout. "We had to request special permission to do this, and just received it, so we are very excited," says PHS theater department director, Julia Becker.
Morton Ranch High
SF The Insanity of Mary Girard (UIL One-Act Play) March 10 Tickets: mrhsmavericktheatre.org
Stepping out of their comfort zones
Senior Amado Tadeo Velasco who will play Mr. Philips says, "Mr. Philips is a very different character then I am used to playing, I usually play a comedic relief character but Mr. Philips is a morally grey character. He does bad things for the greater good of the people involved he is flawed and faced with difficult choices and that’s what makes him a fantastic character.I relate to Mr. Philips because he is a man that does things he has to in order to better himself and to help those around him. Life in the Morton Ranch Theatre Department helps me become more team- oriented and develop a more empathetic view on life. "
Senior Tyson Fullmer who has the pleasure of playing Stephan Girard says, "The thing I love most about Stephan is the fascinating power dynamic between him and his wife Mary. Not only is it a pleasure to learn about in the script, it’s also a very eye opening thing to act simply because of the raw aspects of human nature that it exposes. It’s always amazing to see what I learn about myself and others through experiences like this, not to sound overly cliche, but it truly is a wonderful thing to be a part of.
Gaining skills for the real world
He plans on continuing with acting after graduation he says, "The first thing that comes to mind when I think about how my time in the theater department will help me in the world is definitely the communication skills I’ve gained. When you work so closely with such a large group of people to put together a final product, you really learn not only how to work as a team, but also how to talk to all the different voices in that team. That is such a valuable life lesson in general, I know how to work with people, I know how to talk to different kinds of people, I’m not afraid to voice my thoughts but I also know when it’s best to just back down and listen to what others are going to say. It’s something I’m glad to have figured out now rather then later when I’m trying to get jobs."
Taylor High School
The Diary of Anne Frank - UIL One-Act Play
March 10 @ CRHS
Senior Noah Key will play Peter Van Daan. He says, "What I love most about my character is how it is based on an actual person during World War II, so I can really put in the time and research in order to get the best portrayal of this character" After graduation he plans on majoring in Media Production and plans to continue acting. He says "I'm working to become a director since they can apply the skills of the actors and crew to create their own artistic vision. Theatre at Taylor High School has definitely changed my life for the better and I have my fellow thespians and fantastic directors to thank for that."
Katy High School
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Post-production spotlight)
Jan. 10 - 13 Cast: "Charlie Brown" - Ross Hyatt-Henson, "Lucy" Marlee Jones
Directed by Kelly Burnett, student assistant technical director, Veronica Miko