The show must go on: Illness doesn’t keep student from play performance

Story by Jennifer Hickman

The Little Theatre Company has had numerous rehearsals, but none like a recent one in Over The River and Through the Woods. Junior Travis Helmstetler was hospitalized just a week before the show had to be put on.

“I had a high white cell count,” Helmstetler said. “I think everyone was a little scared because we were at the point where we had to rehearse.”

Though Helmstetler didn’t know what was going to happen, the theater department had a surprise for him.

“When we got to the hospital, the door to get into where he was had a camera, and you had to push a button to get in,” senior Kelsey Townsend said. “Ms. [Michelle] Robinson told us all to stand back while she stood in front of the camera and pushed the button. Once they opened the door we all ran in.”

Helmstetler was just expecting to be in the hospital running lines alone.

“They surprised me when they came in with their scripts,” he said. “I was not expecting it at all, and we ran lines for a good hour, just going over the script.”

Even though Helmstetler was sick, the theater company proved the age-old tale, the show must go.

“With just a week before the show none of us knew whether Travis would be able to be a part of the show,” Robinson said. “We continued to rehearse without Travis, but it just didn’t feel the same.

We figured if he couldn’t come to rehearsals, we’d take rehearsals to him. The great thing about the theater students I work with is how caring, compassionate, and in this case ‘dedicated’ they are.

The look on the nurse’s face when we all filed down the hall was precious, but the look on Travis’ face was priceless.”