As the cast and crew of East Three Theatre’s production of Robin Hood took their final curtain call on April 27, two of the program’s most experienced actors stood before the crowd for the last time.
Katelynn Crocker and Keith Verbonac have been with the school’s theatre program since it began five years ago. They haven’t missed a single play, but that all changes next year, as the two are graduating this year.
“It’s a lot. You put so much time into it. To think that I won’t be able to do this next year is a lot for me,” said Crocker.
Her experience with the program is something that she said that she’ll always be thankful for.
“I’ve made a lot of friends through the theatre program that I wouldn’t have made otherwise. I got to meet a lot of new people,” she said. “I was very shy. Before I didn’t talk in front of people, but this has really helped to open me up.”
In addition to playing the role of the sheriff of Nottingham’s wife, Crocker also served as the play’s assistant director.
“She pretty much directed the whole first scene. Her and I have been working on it. She provided input. She’s getting a deeper level of what theatre is,” said Abe Drennan, the director of the program.
Theatre veterans such as Crocker and Verbonac are important, Drennan continued, for they allow for the production to flow with ease.
“We’ve had a couple alumni, but these two have been such an integral – and are integral – part of the program,” said Drennan. “Keith’s such a strong actor. We’re going to really miss his presence on stage. He’s always very entertaining.”
Through the program, Verbonac said that he was able to gain more confidence when performing before a crowd.
“I was told that when I’m rehearsing that I’m okay, but when I get on stage, I really become the character and I throw people off,” he said. “Because they weren’t expecting some of the things I said or did.”
Verbonac, who played the part of the sheriff of Nottingham, said that he wasn’t too upset that his time with the program was ending, for he plans to continue acting once he’s out of high school.
“I learned that I’m better at acting than I thought I was. I found that it’s a lot easier to pretend to be someone else to build confidence,” he said.
Confidence, community and a sense of ownership are just some of the things that Drennan hopes students take away from their time with the program.
“It can be life-changing stuff. The ability to engage in a relationship in a meaningful way. If you have confidence, you can stand and just speak to people,” he said. “For some, it’s just a matter of relating. Theatre allows you to relate. You relate to yourself and you relate to others.”