Monday, Jun 24, 2019

HHS senior selected for state production

Marley Smith was selected to work as part of the stage crew for the 2015 Illinois High School Theatre Festival All-State Production of “Pippin.”

The Harvard High School senior has been involved in the HHS theater program since her freshman year, when she worked as a stage crew member on a production of “Big.”

“Initially I just thought it’d be fun to try,” Smith said of the production. “It was gratifying, seeing all of your work up there on stage.”

Smith said her love of art led to an interest in creating backdrops, painting sets, making props and doing character makeups. Over the years, Smith said she has seen improvements in her stage crew responsibilities.

“My finesse [is improving],” she said. “As I’m getting older I can see that I’m improving all of my abilities.”

To be selected to crew for the all-state production of “Pippin,” students throughout the state had to complete an application and interview for the honor at Maine East High School, as well as share examples of their previous work. “I’ve seen a past [Illinois High School Theatre Festival] production,” Smith said. “It was fantastic.”

During her interview, Smith said she brought a jukebox prop she created for a production of “Grease.”

“They give you seven minutes to show what you’ve done,” Smith said. “They want to see that you’re truly passionate about it and that you have the tech skills to back it up.”

Smith was chosen as one of about 30 crew members from throughout Illinois.

“I’m really looking forward to having more resources than we have available here in Harvard,” Smith said. “I’m thinking of the people as resources, too.”

Smith said she was looking forward to meeting peers and advisers who can help elevate her skills even further. She was quick to praise her classmates and advisers in Harvard for her current growth, and, when asked to identify a production that showcased her work the best, Smith hesitated to take too much credit.

“We’re all working together, so it’s hard to make it about me,” she said. “‘Grease’ was probably my favorite production to work on. I just liked that [1950s] aesthetic.”

While she said she doesn’t expect to make theater a career, she hoped to maintain a connection with theater in college and beyond.

For now, her priorities remain on HHS, which will perform “Wizard of Oz” this coming school year. We need more people, if any students are interested,” she said.