• Performing arts students return to the stage with a spring musical

    After a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Centennial High School Performing Arts Department hosted an in-person musical in May 2022. CHS theater students and former alumni joined together to perform “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” under the direction of Kellie McCarty, who’s taught at CHS for the past 24 years.

    “This show marks the return of musical theater to our stage and a renewed hope of making magic again,” said Director McCarty.

    “It’s our first time back on stage after a long hiatus,” says Student Actor Mary D. “As a senior, it makes me emotional because it’s my last production with the team. I’m happy I get to perform it in front of a live audience.”

    Mary knew at a young age that she wanted to take theater classes in high school. Through her theater classes over the past four years, she’s learned more about how to be on stage, how to read plays and different genres of plays, and how to portray characters. She’s also taking other valuable skills from her theater classes. “Public speaking in general is the biggest lesson,” said Mary. “I used to be shy, but I am now more confident when talking in front of people.”

    The CHS Performing Arts Department also offers Technical Theater courses. Students in these courses are key to building the set for the musicals, as well as other behind-the-scenes tasks such as sound and lighting. 

    Learning how to use power tools was an area of interest for Apollo D., a junior who is a Level 3 Technician enrolled in the Technical Theater course. In addition to the technical aspects of the course, Apollo is learning teamwork and leadership skills. This year’s spring musical is the first in-person musical in Apollo’s high school career so far. “What’s most exciting is to see the community and leadership we all built together and how beautiful it is,” said Apollo.

    Joshua B., a junior and Level 3 Technician, took great interest in taking Technical Theater courses to learn more about construction and sound. Joshua expressed other benefits gained from taking these courses such as teamwork, learning through trial and error, and getting to meet people.

    The valuable lessons of teamwork and communication were a common theme from students taking these courses. Evan S., a senior taking Technical Theater, is planning on taking these learning experiences into a future career in medicine. “In any team environment where you are working towards a goal, you learn to work better with people,” said Evan. “You learn to be able to realize what people need out of the team.”