by Michelle Pargament (Brooke Windham)
Coming into Hopkins as a freshman, I was confident I wanted to participate in musical theater. It had been a huge part of my life growing up, with high school afternoons consumed by rehearsals for musicals and show choir alike. During spring of my freshman year, I auditioned for the Barnstormers’ production of Sweeney Todd and was fortunate enough to be cast in the ensemble. I loved the experience and the warmth from the theater community.
My sophomore year rolled around and I joined a dance group on campus. I found myself absorbed by learning new routines and performing publicly at different events on campus. By the time spring came around, I had decided not to audition for the musical. The same happened the following year.
Though I undoubtedly loved my experience with my dance team, I always felt like something was missing. I treasured the performance aspect of my dance group the most, but we only had one main performance each year. I missed the strength of the community I had built by spending time rehearsing with people every day of the week. I missed learning harmonies and dressing room chats, late nights in Swirnow and the music that swirled in my head before I fell asleep each night. I began to wonder if I was spending time doing what I truly enjoyed the most.
I entered my senior fall confident that I would audition for the straight play, The Mousetrap. I was thrilled to be cast as Mrs. Boyle and fell in love with acting all over again. I knew soon after we started rehearsing that I’d want to audition for the spring musical. When The Barnstormers announced that the show was Legally Blonde, I absolutely knew I would audition. I played the role of Chutney when I was in high school and was anxious to try something new. In a huge reversal, I was cast as Brooke in the Barnstormers’ production.
Now, after various ten-hour rehearsals and late nights spent jump-roping in Swirnow, I am confident I made the right decision in auditioning. I should have known that I couldn’t quit musical theater.