Commentary: ONW Theatre

TheaterOlathe Northwest theatre has been around since the beginning of ONW itself. It has put on three shows (a musical and two plays) a year for 10 years, and has been, for many, a way to get involved in theatre and support their school at the same time.

My first Olathe Northwest audition was for Once Upon a Mattress in the fall of 2010.  As a freshman just starting in theatre, it was a truly nerve-wracking experience. Seeing all the talent the senior class possessed, it was frightening knowing that I would have to live up to that expectation in 3 very short years.

The first audition in front of your director is always the scariest; the pressure to make a great first impression is insane. This is your future director; the one that will either make or break your high school experience (assuming you stick with theatre). It’s critical that you make your best impression now, and even if you don’t get a huge role, it shows her what your potential is.

I didn’t take the pre-audition very seriously, and as soon as I walked out of the choir room, I felt dismay. I knew it wasn’t good enough. I knew I had screwed up.

Amazingly, due to some insane piece of skill (or luck, I’m not sure on that one just yet), I was cast.

As soon as I hit that stage for the first rehearsal, I knew it was going to be a great experience; it definitely was just that. A teacher of mine always says you should be in at least one theatre production in your lifetime, and I definitely advocate that to the fullest extent.

Growing up in the theatre department, I made so many new friends around the school. Being a freshman, there were large amounts of seniors that I had to reluctantly say goodbye to. As a senior now, it’s getting more and more apparent that I too will have to say goodbye to the underclassmen that I’ve grown so close to.

I think that’s what made this last audition for Grease so different—knowing that it was my last musical, and having most of the stress relieved (when it came to impressing my director, at least). That’s something that’s very rare—to have an audition where all you’re focused on is going in there and trying your best without fear of how your director will envision you for years to come. It definitely gets easier as the years progress on, as long as you’re willing to stick with it and make it something you’re passionate about. Theatre is more than just a hobby—it’s a life-changing experience.


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