AWHS Drama steps back into the spotlight


Brody Rhodes

Mr Thelin, the drama teacher, working on the Macbeth play with his advanced students. (September 17)

After almost two years in the COVID-19 pandemic, AWHS performers are finally able to return to the Little Theater stage. 

Jasper Thelin, the AWHS Drama teacher, felt distant from his students over the pandemic. Drama students, both “novice and experienced,” were able to challenge themselves during COVID-19 by acting at home. They preserved and stayed strong to come back to this community. 

“Being unable to meet in person and making it harder to talk and be heard has been difficult. By wearing a mask it is harder to bond because we didn’t get to see each other’s mouths and it was very challenging because you need a big voice for theater,” Thelin said.

 During the COVID-19 pandemic, AWHS senior Sascha Nikolai says that she was challenged as a performer and is eager to perform on stage again. As a part of the AWHS acting company, she was heartbroken that COVID-19 safety regulations shut down the theater. She recently started film/movie acting and attended an Ace American Conservatory of Theater Camp, but  she said that it was difficult to bond with the other actors because the camp  was virtual. 

“It feels great to come back to this community, connect with people, and bring back that theater energy. Having the same intention as someone to put on a play is really cool,” Sascha said. 

Theater students, Sascha Nikolai, Skylar Hellman, and Elizabeth Kelly acting out a scene from the Macbeth show. (September 17) (Brody Rhodes)

In live theater, students express their identities and passions for acting on stage but COVID-19 made this more difficult because they weren’t able to perform.

“A huge part that I missed was the feedback. The feedback is very important to me because I can learn and build off of what my peers have to say,” Sascha said. 

Many AWHS students find theater a supportive community at school because they can express themselves to others who share common interests, free from judgment. This year, the theater company will put on several new plays, like Alice and Wonderland and Macbeth. 

The upper theater class plans to perform Macbeth indoors in November, but the AWHS administration still does not know if an audience will be allowed because of COVID-19 safety precautions.