On the first day of freshman year, current-senior Kylie Ledford walked into room 213 for her first audition for a Frequent Friday. The next day she found out she had been cast. Four years later and she still finds herself in room 213 almost everyday.
Being part of 14 shows at East throughout high school became a major influence on Ledford’s high school experience. When she entered into the program her freshman year there were 40 kids in Drama, the beginning theater class. However, this year in Advance Rep, there are only five. These five have become some of Ledford’s closest friends.
“We have grown closer and closer as the numbers have dwindled down,” Ledford said. “We have gotten to bond and make stupid inside jokes over all these shows we have done through these four years together.”
East theater has not only built strong friendships in Advanced Rep, but in the cast of a show she wrote and is directing. “The Scientific Method,” which follows the main character, Kaia, as she travels through different times in her life in an attempt to fix her mistakes takes the stage on March 3. Sophomore Sophia Egan, who plays Kaia, has gotten close to Ledford over the course of several shows.
“In the theater community, you just end up being around the same people, so we have gotten close,” Egan said. “Before the show we would just say ‘Hi’ to each other, but now we talk a lot, and I have even learned that Kylie befriends reptiles easily.”
All of those hours in room 213 have accumulated in reaching the level theater teachers Brian Capello and Tom DeFeo look for in candidates for directing Frequent Fridays.
“The skills Kylie has learned over the last few years make her prepared to do a Frequent Friday,” said Capello. “She watches me and Mr.DeFeo, and she has paid very close attention to the all the aspects of theater. That is the goal of anyone who does a Frequent Friday.”
Ledford has not just developed her performance skills from interaction with her instructors, but has also developed close personal ties to them as well.
“DeFeo is like my theater Dad,” Ledford said. “I have also gotten close to Cappy [Capello] as a person and a teacher. Both teachers I have gotten really close to and have good relationships with.“
Though she is leaving the Little Theater behind at the end of this school year, Ledford will be continuing her theater career in college. She changed her original plans from acting and commercial music to musical theater after closing her final musical as a Lancer.
“”Seussical’ made me decide to change from what I was going to do and decide to do musical theatre in college instead,” Ledford said. “The program [at East] has helped me love theatre so much and has given me lots of lessons that have pushed me to want to go for it as a career.”