Mobs of hungry kids speeding down the streets drenched in stage makeup
Playing the famous games in the summertime as our bare feet dig into the green grass
Hairspray permanently inhaled into our systems
The art of fives
Lipstick that never fades
These are just a couple snippets of the many memories at NEYT that will be with me for the rest of my life. Even when I’ve had an uneventful, dragging day at school, it’s never that way at the theater. Once I step into that greenroom I’m stepping into a magical porthole- where you can expect laughter, love, a person squealing “RACHEL!!!” and an arm around your shoulder. NEYT is my second home, and the people that make it up are my family. There is no place I’d rather be. Well, maybe a tropical island, but NEYT comes pretty dang close.
Hello! I’m Rachel, and I’m fifteen years old. When I was younger, I looked up to NEYT and I would see plays and be like, “I want to be one of them! It looks like so much fun!” I would even go home and pretend I was onstage and in the shows. When I got a little older, I decided it was time to stop dreaming and make it a reality.
I started out at the New England Youth Theater with an improv class as a small nine year old, wanting to explore the realms of theater and become a NEYT-er. I went to Circus Minimus that summer, followed by many classes such as Physical Theater, Intermediate Acting, a Broadway musical dance class with Shoshi Bass, the Singing Actor, Actorbat…I’m drawing a blank on others. I actually didn’t act in a play at NEYT until I was twelve, because of my fear of auditioning back then. My first play was The Jungle Book. There was no audition necessary, but I had such a great experience that I began taking stabs at some auditions. I think that’s because I was really well prepared with the classes I took. Some other plays I have been in include: A Night at the Opera, A Midsummer Pirates Dream, The Drunkard, Shakespeare’s Smash Hit Scenes, Broadway Musical Camp, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd. Last spring, I took a leap stage-managing Just So Mr. Kipling, which was loads of fun! It was really interesting to see the different aspects of the theater. I had been an actress, but being a stage manager really opened my eyes to how much work is done behind the scenes and taken for granted! But I really hope to be a stage manager again in the future. This past summer I recently was in Grease as Frenchy. That is my favorite role so far. I could relate to Frenchy so well, and this was one of the biggest roles I have ever had in a play, so I took a huge leap and had so much fun playing around with her character.
Just recently, I have been in a workshop directed by Keely Eastly. We were doing scenes from a play called As It Is In Heaven, which is a play about a group of nine women and their lives as Shakers and how they interact with each other. I played a character named Jane, who was pretty much the exact opposite of Frenchy! This workshop was very different than anything else I’ve ever done at NEYT before. Instead of focusing on costumes or lights, it was all about our characters. We did deep character study and we were put in places and situations that made us feel very vulnerable. It was a very difficult experience to go through, but I have learned so much from it, and I gained a lot of insight from that workshop that I can use later on in other roles. Keely is a wonderful teacher and I am so glad I had the opportunity to take that workshop with her. I recently have become a Mentor, and I am pretty new to the group, but I look forward to helping the community as much as I can. I hope people are never afraid to approach me, and my goal is to be as open, friendly and caring as I can to anyone new to the theater- or old!
Looking back to when I was nine years old just looking into acting to where I am now, I am a much more outgoing, confident person. I have developed my acting skills, my singing voice, my stage voice and my movement. NEYT has helped me deal with other things outside of the theater that I wouldn’t have been as receptive to if I didn’t have the training that the theater has given me. I don’t know where I’d be without the support and love from NEYT. I know for a fact there will be many more memories to come, and many more fun times to be shared, and no matter where I go or what I do in the future, NEYT will always be in my heart, and I will carry what this wonderful place has taught me around in my heart forever.
They were right. I leaped, and the net did appear!