Student Spotlight: Halle Benson, Troupe 2720 (Millard South)

My love for theatre started in elementary school. As a little nine year old, I watched my sister be a scenic designer at Millard South High School and do shows like Alice in Wonderland, White Christmas, and Clue. Back then, I didn’t know much about theatre and the backstage jobs, so I wanted to be a scenic designer just like her. 

Flash forward to freshman year of high school, I joined a theatre appreciation class and signed up as a set constructor for the first show of the school year. I spent my entire first year of high school building sets and learning how to use the screw guns, saws, and proper safety in the shop. At the end of my freshman year, I auditioned to be a part of Patriot Players at my school. Patriot Players is a group of students who want to teach incoming drama students the basics of theatre. I was the only freshman that got into Patriot Players that year. 

The next year, I started doing run crew for plays and musicals. It was my first time ever doing any sort of run crew, which is quite terrifying when you don’t know what you are doing half the time. Everyone on the scene shift run crew was new. I happened to be the only person not a freshman, so the whole crew looked up to me. By some miracle, I led my crew of scene shifters with confidence and we were able to pull off Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 

I learned very quickly that I didn’t want to be a scenic designer like my sister, I wanted to be a stage manager. Don’t get me wrong, I love designing and building sets, but I love knowing about everything that goes on backstage and calling cues over the headset. 

Later on sophomore year, I ran for my drama club board as Vice President and got voted into office. It took a lot out of me to stand up in front of everyone and give a speech about why I want to be Vice President. One of my biggest fears is literally public speaking, but I took a couple deep breaths and talked. 

I thought my year of public speaking was over, until I decided to run for State Thespian Officer in the fall. The amount of doubts I had in my mind were crazy as I got called up to give my speech to the thespian board of Nebraska. Standing in front of everyone made me really nervous, but when I listened to Mrs. Phillips announce that we all made it, I wanted to cry tears of joy. 

Along with running as a State Thespian Officer, I ran for President of my troupe at school. It was quite different than last year with speeches and voting being online. Unlike last year, I could be around my friends and see their faces as everyone voted in the auditorium. When the official list went up, I was kind of shocked to see my name next to the President position. Nevertheless, I was ecstatic that I was going to be the President of my troupe in my last year of high school. 

I want to make my last year of high school as memorable as I can with COVID as an obstacle. It definitely won’t be the same as it’s been in the last three years, but I want to make it as memorable as I can. 

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