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Senior goodbye: The place I’ll miss the most

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Senior staff member Will Anderson reflects on the home away from home he found in the theatre department.

Senior staff member Will Anderson reflects on the home away from home he found in the theatre department.

Parker Nolan / Edited by Carter Bryant

Parker Nolan / Edited by Carter Bryant

Senior staff member Will Anderson reflects on the home away from home he found in the theatre department.

Will Anderson, Staff Reporter

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Editor’s Note: Senior goodbyes are student pieces that reflect on their past years in high school. These pieces take very different perspectives and the prompt was meant to be vague to inspire creativity. 

A new entrance with walls built in places where there were once openings for the outside light to pass through. New bricks in those spaces of an oddly different color than the original design that seem out of place to the eyes. New floors that wiped away the history– every scuff mark, every paint chip, every wheel mark– that once was and the great events that took place within. New doors leading to new opportunities for those who passed through like a “wind comes sweepin’ down the plain.” Less bars in the catwalk opening chances to accomplish great things with ease, but offering a new world of risks. A pleasant humming within that reminds the audience it is the still the same space, despite all the changes.

Through my high school years, the auditorium has been a pinnacle of my high school experience. In freshmen year as a wee actor, I played a police officer, too afraid to tell the directors I had forgotten one of my two lines. Sophomore year, I experimented with the technical aspects of theatre, which opened a world of love, happiness, and purpose to my life. During junior year, I blossomed into a capable technician who could be moderately useful to whoever was in need. In my final year, the auditorium gave me numerous opportunities to teach those around me about the experiences I’ve had within it and how to best treat “her.” I’ve spent more hours within her walls than I ever could have imagined as a fearful freshmen who barely knew how to memorize lines.

I’ve seen the changes throughout the years to the auditorium.

Minor details like a paint splotch here and there.

A new windmill hung from the rafters of the prop loft.

The splotches of green paint I accidentally tracked along the stage from my shoes to the massive refurbishment completed this year. All from and for the number of incredible shows (not that I’m biased or anything) that marked an equally incredible theatre program– a theatre program which has changed me for the better, and which I am proud to call the greatest choice of my high school career.

In all honesty, I was forced into the theatre program. In eighth grade, I was determined to quit athletics. I couldn’t decide on what I wanted to use my new found free class period for. I kept procrastinating my decision, a trend I would keep up for years to come, until my mother stuck me in theatre and told me to deal with it. She always wanted a kid in theatre, mostly because she knew that her children’s personalities would be fitting for that environment.

Oh, how right she was.

The next year, I progressed to the high school level and kept my electives as they had been in middle school because there wasn’t anything I felt passionate about pursuing instead. The high school theatre program was terrifying for me, with so many different moving parts that seemed incomprehensible at the time. I had no idea how these people could build entire houses on stage, place the perfect lighting on Farren Barnett and Mrs. Brewster’s dog, play a unique sound design that transitioned between each scene seamlessly, and still find time to be the most interesting, kind, and considerate personalities who have graced Lovejoy High School.

These experiences from my early theatre days would mold me into the technician I am proud to claim that I am today. If I were to recommend anything to an upcoming freshmen, sophomore, junior, or even someone entering their senior year, it would be this: join theatre. The people you meet, the experiences you have, and the character building you undergo will make this elective worth your while. And if none of these things happen, simply see it as a bright and shining buffer against the long slogs of days filled with academics being crammed into your head.

My senior goodbye is to the theatre program and to the auditorium itself. They both have shown me love and care in times when all I needed was something to cherish and show passion toward. The Lovejoy auditorium will forever be my home, and if you see a guy in an Adventure Time belt, sitting in the booth and smiling at a performance, you’ll know I’m where I belong.

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Senior goodbye: The place I’ll miss the most