Senior column: the green room

Alexa Kannenberg, web managing editor

I remember my first class of high school vividly as I’m sure we all do. It was Drama I with Kelly Schnider. I ran into the green room right after my first high school bell rang. The unfamiliar room smelled of what I now know is stage makeup and coffee. The most unflattering mirrors in the world lined the far wall and a painting of a giant wiener dog hung above the whiteboard. Needless to say, I was intimidated.

As time went on, I grew very familiar with the green room. It’s the backstage area for the six plays I participated in, and the classroom for the five drama classes I took. With each show and each drama class, I crawled out of my shell a little more.

My first play was A Streetcar Named Desire. I was a scared little freshman reading over my four lines in front of ten upperclassmen who all seemed to have perfect confidence and charisma. I had neither, and awkwardly sat alone at a table and kept to myself. Luckily for me, those ten upperclassmen were awesome and made me feel more comfortable with each rehearsal. I left my first show with much less insecurity about talking to people who intimidated me and with more confidence in myself.

By the time senior year hit and the fall play rolled around, I felt completely at ease in the green room. It was my turn to give advice to the underclassmen about how to survive tech weeks and the (sometimes) embarrassing costume fittings.

Theater left me with some unique experiences. In Hamlet I wore age makeup to make me seem 50-60 years old (not a pretty sight kids) and Radium Girls showed me what radium poisoning looked like on a teenager with a very uncomfortable fake tumor and dying skin. Also, not the sexiest look but hey, that’s theater for you.

Theater taught me to appreciate and work with all kinds of people and gave me my best friends. I overcame any fear of public speaking I had before performing in front of an audience full of people. I learned that a quick change requires two friends to dance provocatively in front of you, mic tape hurts like $%*@ and the catwalk is the coolest part of KHS. So for all of this and more, I owe a big thank you to Kelly Schnider and Greg Booth for running an amazing theater program and teaching me countless life lessons along the way.