For the love of theater: E-W senior reflects on her nine years with MCT

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This post by Edmonds-Woodway High School senior Lily Jaquith originally appeared on the Madrona Children’s Theatre blog and is being reposted here with permission.

By Lily Jaquith

For nine years I have worked with a local theater program, Madrona Children’s Theatre. It’s part of the K-8 school I attended and gives so many opportunities for kids to experience first hand. This year is going to be my last year with them. I head off to college next year and I won’t be able to continue my work. I feel sad just thinking about not being around all these wonderful kids.

MCT is the reason I am the person I am today. It’s the reason I didn’t fall apart when my friend bailed on me. It gave me so many different experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

My first show with MCT I had an easy job, helping the backstage coordinator follow the show. That small role had a huge impact on me. It was the first time I felt the rush of live theater. There’s nothing like knowing anything could go wrong, but having everything go perfectly. I wanted to hold on to that feeling and never let it go.

The next four years I was an actor. Those years were incredible. In my awkward pre-teen years I was learning to express myself through theater. I had a difficult time my middle school years, constantly being bullied by my own friends. It made me a shy and self-conscious person, but when I was on the stage singing out Freddy my Love from “Grease,” nothing could bring me down. Becoming someone else and expressing all my emotions through song was the best way to forget.

My freshman year of high school I returned and helped out with rehearsals, passing on my knowledge of theater to those younger than me, while at the same time learning about how everything happens behind the scenes. This was the first time I realized I wanted to work with kids someday. It was also the first time I saw my passion for teaching.

However, the most beneficial of all my years with MCT were the past two. I gained the role of Assistant Stage Manager for 2009, and took on that role again in 2010. It’s the role I hold this year for our 2011 production of “The Boy Friend.” The work was so different from anything I had ever done. It was just as rewarding, if not more so. It was my job to make sure those kids got on stage on time and my fault if something went wrong. I learned not to take the role lightly and be serious when working backstage. I also gained a lot of patience. There were many situations where I was dealing with kids who weren’t listening, talking backstage or asking questions I’d just answered. As a fairly impatient person, it took me a while to handle this well. After a while, I gained the tolerance to answer questions calmly and nicely ask kids to quiet down without getting frustrated and flustered.

Along with all the skills I have acquired, MCT also became my home away from home. The sense of family between the cast and crew is an amazing feeling. I love being someone the kids can look up to and I love the look on their faces when they accomplish something amazing. The stage is somewhere I will always feel comfortable.

MCT and theater will always be my happy place!

The next four years I was an actor. Those years were incredible. In my awkward pre-teen years I was learning to express myself through theater. I had a difficult time my middle school years, constantly being bullied by my own friends. It made me a shy and self conscious person, but when I was on the stage singing out Freddy my Love from Grease, nothing could bring me down. Becoming someone else and expressing all my emotions through song was the best way to forget.

My freshman year of high school I returned and helped out with rehearsals, passing on my knowledge of theater to those younger than me, while at the same time learning about how everything happens behind the scenes. This was the first time I realized I wanted to work with kids someday. It was also the first time I saw my passion for teaching.

However, the most beneficial of all my years with MCT were the past two. I gained the role of Assistant Stage Manager for our 2009, and took on that role again in 2010, it’s the role I hold this year for our 2011 production of The Boy Friend. The work was so different than anything I had ever done. It was just as rewarding, if not more so. It was my job to make sure those kids got on stage on time and my fault if something went wrong. I learned not to take the role lightly and be serious when working backstage. I also gained a lot of patience. There were many situations where I was dealing with kids who weren’t listening, talking backstage or asking questions I’d just answered. As a fairly impatient person, it took me a while to handle this well. After a while I gained the tolerance to answer questions calmly and nicely ask kids to quiet down without getting frustrated and flustered.

Along with all the skills I have acquired, MCT also became my home away from home. The sense of family felt between the cast and crew is an amazing feeling. I love being someone the kids can look up to and I love the look on their faces when they accomplish something amazing. The stage is somewhere I will always feel comfortable.

MCT and theater will always be my happy place!

Coming up: Madrona Children’s Theatre presents “The Boy Friend” March 24-27 at the Mountlake Terrace High School Theatre.  Show times are 7 p.m. March 24-25,  2 and 7 p.m. March 26 and 12:30 and 5 p.m. on March 27. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children.

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi, Lily! Many years ago when you and your sister were very young, we saw one another, but I doubt you would remember. I am your great uncle, your grandpa Glenn’s older brother from New York. Judy send me this link and I read your story with much interest, thinking of two things: 1) Your experience seems much like that of my grandaughter, Sayra Miller (Sheryl’s daughter living in Los Angeles; you two should be in touch if not already; and, 2) Your experience behind the scenes, staging, etc., etc. brought up memories of last night’s awesome 3-hour CBS show, the Emmy Awards. Incredible staging, lighting, timing, etc., without a noticeable flaw!
    You must have seen this as well. Wishing you the best in your career; teaching has been my love since earlyj 20’s and 66 years later, I can’t give it up! Love, G Grandpa Paul, Haverstraw, NY

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