Under the Bright Lights


Addison Shepard

The world of high-school theatre can have a lot to offer and demand a lot, as well.

Addison Shepard, Staff Writer

Every year, the NA plays and musicals cause a stir within the district, however making the decision to join in the fun can be rough without the right resources. Students thinking about getting involved should know what to expect.

Freshman Evie Yin claims that the NAI theater department is a more comfortable environment compared to other theater environments she has tried. “It was very loosened up at NA. You’re not as uptight,” she says.

Sophomore Emma Neff agrees. “I made a lot of friends with the musical and I had a lot of fun with it,” she said. If students have an interest in musical theater, joining these programs can introduce them to students from both NAI and NASH that have the same interests. “I got to interact with people from different grade levels, which I don’t normally get to do because the schools are separated,” says sophomore Jahnavi Venkat.  

Yin also loves that she has an opportunity to show off her skills to her classmates. “It’s really cool for my school to get to see what I do for fun,” she says. Speaking of skills, students can learn different styles of dancing, singing, and acting through the school musical.

“One of the upsides was being able to learn different styles of dance,” says Venkat.  Overall, NA’s theater program is a good opportunity to learn new things and meet new people through school.

On the contrary, there are some downsides that come with doing the play or musical at such a large school. With so many students from both NAI and NASH auditioning, there’s bound to be some hurt feelings when someone doesn’t make the cut. “It can get pretty competitive,” says Yin.

And on the subject of competition, it’s no secret that North Allegheny prides itself in its sports programs. However, a visit to the NA website will reveal that there are not nearly as many options for students focused on music and art. “I’d love to have a bit more opening to theater,” says Yin, “Because NA puts a lot of effort into football games, and I’d really like to see that effort go into arts.” 

I didn’t really have time to do schoolwork all the time, especially during our two week tech week.

— Jahnavi Venakt

The tight schedules of both the play and musical could also be a problem for busy students. “I didn’t really have time to do schoolwork all the time, especially during our two week tech week,” says Venkat.

Not only are there long rehearsals on the weekdays, but there are also rehearsals on Sundays. “One of the downfalls was probably the Sunday rehearsals. Those took up a lot of my day,” says Neff. Students need to take the schedule and the audition process into consideration before signing up.

In spite of this, NA’s theater program does a great job at immersing students in the art of performance. Yin, Venkat, and Neff all enjoyed their experience and encourage other students to sign up as well.