Upper school theatre students wow audiences with their stunning performance of the musical Hello, Dolly!
With sensational sets, extraordinary costumes and spectacular acting, audiences were transported to the 1890s and the world of Hello, Dolly! through Second Theatre Company’s upper school musical performance. Performed at Houston Baptist University’s Dunham Theater, this event was no small-scale feat to produce. As Music Director Claire Westmoreland stated, “The preparation that goes into the show is fast and furious, even for professional theatre companies, and the fact that our high school students do it is remarkable. The bar is set high, and they always jump over it.” And jump over it, they certainly did!
A highlight of the show was the visual impact of each carefully crafted scene. Crew members worked hard alongside the cast to make sure each detail was on point. Stage Manager Josh Collins ‘23 shared how gratifying it was to watch the cast perform and “hear the standing ovations that they received.” He added, “It was an incredible reward because I knew how hard each member of the cast worked in every single rehearsal. I also took great joy in seeing the crew execute their roles to perfection.”
It was one jaw-dropping moment to the next; the cast and crew worked together to make each scene seamless. Senior Kendall Felton’s talent was above and beyond what one would expect from a high school student. She shined in her role as Dolly and learned so much in the process, saying, “Dolly was not an easy character to get into, and it was fun to push myself to bring her to life. I grew so much from Mrs. Blades’ direction and even added my own flare to the character.” Kendall also enjoyed bringing back a show that has been done before, having the opportunity to celebrate with the alumni cast members from the 2006 SBS production who returned to see the show. “It was a full circle moment,” said Kendall.
As Grace Lundsford ‘23 put it, “There was not a single dull moment in the show because of the hard work everyone put into it. Each cast member had amazing talent, and we were all able to build off each other.”
Over and over again, theatre cast and crew members shared that their favorite part of the show was the relationships they formed with each other and their directors. Mrs. Westmoreland explained, “Second Theatre Company is a family. These students create a safe space for one another to express their God-given talents.”
Abbey Herndon ‘22 said “participating in theatre these past four years has shaped who I am. Our directors, Mrs. Blades and Mrs. Westmoreland, not only do their best to make all of our shows amazing, but they also care deeply for the students who are in them.”
Beyond the Theatre
Theatre at SBS is more than just spectacular shows, and the impact stretches beyond the special bonds formed. Mrs. Westmoreland explained, “Our theatre students are busy and become masters of time management. Many are in honors and AP courses, play sports and are in student leadership positions and then they come to rehearsals three nights a week and Saturday mornings.”
Ellie Eschweiler ‘22, lead hair and makeup crew member, said the musical will influence her future. “I learned more about myself and what I want to do with my life from doing hair and makeup. I learned that I love managing a project and seeing the results. The experience will aid me in determining my career path.”
Leadership is also instilled in theatre students. Grace Lundsford ‘22 said, “Our directors were not afraid to push us to be bold so that we can become great, not just mediocre. They led by example, they never settled for complacency in their directing and teaching, and as a result, their leadership incited us as a company to expect higher things and to work hard.”
Most importantly, theatre encourages students to grow in faith. Kendall Felton ‘22 shared, “The most valuable lesson that I have taken from SBS and Hello, Dolly! is one of resilience and confidence, not in who I am but WHOSE I am. God has been with me through every moment, high and low, and now as a senior, I recognize just how well He forged me. Through the love of my friends and the support and guidance of my parents, mentors, teachers and directors, God used my Second family to instill resilience and perseverance within me so that the legacy I leave will be one I can be proud of."
Director of Arts Cindy Blades concluded, “The cast and crew of Hello, Dolly! was hard-working, kind and talented. They displayed their God-given talents with grace shining from their faces! I am honored to have helped them discover and enhance their gifts.”
Click here for photos from Hello, Dolly!