• A Look Behind The Curtain


    Play"It is nerve racking, it is frustrating, but in the end, it is worth it."

    That is how the crew of A Midsummer Night"s Dream described their experience preparing for the last drama production at Ranum High School.

    With little more than a month to prepare, students from Westminster and Ranum high schools, alumni, and volunteers have dedicated countless hours to make the final production a memorable one.  

    "It takes dedication, trust and team building to create a final production," said James Holtz, Ranum high school drama coach and the director of A Midsummer Night"s Dream.

    With 20 main stage productions behind him, Holtz has become a master at juggling the details. 

    "From set construction to teaching actors how to act, it is hard to explain how much time and energy goes into a play," Holtz said. "But, none of it would be possible without the students. They are the ones who put in countless hours to make it a successful production. It is a group effort to pull it all together."

    Teamwork is something Katie Davis, a Ranum High School senior, is familiar with. 

    Katie participated in athletics throughout her high school career but wanted to try something different her senior year.  In her first drama production, Katie captured a lead role as Helena. 

    "It is similar to athletics because you have to work as a team, but it is different because you become your own unique character," Davis said. "It is a rush to be on stage and to put yourself out there."

    Beck Schneider, a Ranum senior and the Thespian president, agreed.

    "It is more than just reading a script.  You have to embody your character and connect with them," Schneider said. "You have to learn how your character talks, believe in what they are feeling, then make your audience believe it." 

    Although opening night is exciting, and the thrill of the crowd"s applause contagious, for many students the best part of drama production is watching the growth they experience as people and pupils during the process.

    "It is found in the round of applause the students receive after their production," Holtz said. "Knowing their lives have changed because of their diligent efforts. It is the impact that these kids get to experience, and that is why I continue to do this. It is all worth it in the end."

    The first showing of A Midsummer"s Night Dream at Ranum High School is on Friday, April 23, at 7 p.m. The second showing is Saturday, April 24, at 7 p.m.