Behind the character

Sophomore has passion for theater

Sophomore+Emily+McDonald+balances+theater+life+with+school+life.

Photo by Savannah Pritchard

Sophomore Emily McDonald balances theater life with school life.

Story by Amanda Hackleman, viewpoint editor

From calling cues into her headset to standing in the spotlight showcasing her talent, this girl does it all. Most people can generally see her, darting around the theater, working on something. She lives and breathes theater, and it’s very obvious in the way she carries herself and who her friends are. To say that sophomore Emily McDonald loves theater is a gross understatement of her dedication to it.

“One hundred percent. It’s my whole life,” McDonald said. “Other than that, I don’t know anything, really.”

Getting her start as assistant stage manager to “Into the Woods,” she is now moving up in the program. She’s played Zaneta in this school year’s production of “The Music Man,” and has taken the role of stage manager to her advanced theatre class. Theater has helped her expand her boundaries past what she ever thought was possible.

“It’s made me step out of my comfort zone a lot,” McDonald said. “I’m just not ever comfortable around people. That was a new thing to do. I guess for me, it’s getting outside of my comfort zone. I’m a shy person, so it helps a lot with stage fright.”

McDonald knows first hand how stressful life in the theater can be. Every day leads to late nights of rehearsal and even later studying for her. She’s learned to plan her whole schedule out, so it won’t overwhelm her.

“You’re almost up there everyday. And you have to do schoolwork on top of that,” McDonald said. “It gets pretty stressful organizing your schedule and everything. I plan out everything days ahead, so I don’t get all stressed with things on top of others all at once.”

Though it is stressful, McDonald loves every minute of it. So far, her absolute favorite part was being able to serve as assistant stage manager last year, and stage manager for her class this year.

“I think, so far, being assistant stage manager has been my favorite,” McDonald said. “The whole cast is depending on you, as well as the stage manager. Basically, you’re doing the same thing with helping the director and organizing and making sure everybody’s on schedule and where they need to be. It’s a lot of fun though.”

More than anything else, she loves the people in the theater. She considers them all family, and holds each of her friends near to her heart. It’s the people she’s able to work with that makes the hard work so enjoyable.

“I love all the people, how we feel like family all together,” McDonald said. “Because you have to rely on each other for so much. You just grow closer together. You make these new relationships that stick for a long time.”