I have been involved in musicals ever since I was in eighth grade. It all started when my dance teacher, Jill Grundstrom, told my dance class that she was going to be the choreographer of "Alice In Wonderland."
The Marquette Arts and Culture Center, now the Lake Superior Youth Theatre (LSYT), put on "Alice in Wonderland" that year. I fell in love with theatre as soon as I auditioned for that show. I was cast as a fan dancer and a card.
I have auditioned for every winter production that LSYT has put on and I have enjoyed every one. As a part of LSYT, I have been in "Willy Wonka, Jr.," "Annie, Jr." and "Little Mermaid, Jr."
GlenEllen LEHMBERG, 16
I have also been a part of "Les Miserables" at the Marquette Senior High School as a crewmember in 2011. This year, I was a part of "Shrek, the Musical" as Jasmine, a villager, a Duloc performer and a rat dancer. I am also involved in "Seussical, the Musical," which will be performed Jan. 24, 25 and 26th in Kaufman Auditorium.
Every cast rehearses for a long time leading up to the performance dates and there is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that go into any musical that I have been involved in. Being a part of a musical is exhausting, but it is very much worth it. It is absolutely amazing being part of a show and bringing the characters to life for the audiences that come to see the shows every night.
When I am a part of a show, I learn to work together with my fellow cast members. If I don't do that, the show won't be successful and won't be as good as it could have been. Also, if I don't work my hardest, I feel as if I will be letting down my fellow cast members, who are incredible people and some of my favorite people in the world.
Even though we may get on each other's nerves at times, we are truly a family and I guess I never really understood that until I was a part of "Les Miserables" my freshman year. We laughed and cried together but we remembered that, the show must go on.
I also think that being a part of a high school production and a community theatre production is very different. There are many different things about them. For example, in a Marquette Senior High School musical, we are in Kaufman Auditorium, rehearsing on stage, way before our production dates. We also get used to it earlier.
In a Lake Superior Youth Theatre show, we have more variety in ages. We also don't have as many full cast rehearsals because of that.
Marquette Senior High School musicals have, in my opinion, one of the best vocal directors in this area. Mrs. Brodersen is so talented and she cares about each one of the cast members equally. I remember when we first started rehearsals for "Shrek, the Musical", she gave us all a pep talk and said that, "No one person is more important than another and it's not their show. It is our show."
Being a part of a musical is a very special thing and I feel I grow so much as a person each time. I encourage anyone to participate in any of our school or local theatre productions. Very few things are equally as special as being on stage bringing a story to life.
Editor's note: GlenEllen Lehmberg, 16, is a junior at Marquette Senior High School. She is a long time member of 8-18 Media and is also involved in dance and youth theatre in her spare time. Her parents are Paul and Z.Z. Lehmberg of Marquette. 8-18 Media is a youth journalism program of the Upper Peninsula Children's Museum. Through the program, teams of kids write news stories and commentaries on issues important to youth and about any good, or bad, things youth are up to. For more information call 906-226-7874, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.