Performing arts require rigorous planning, careful choreography, months of practice, and no small amount of other intangibles, "talent" being just one article on a list without an end. The hope is that all those weeks of work will translate into a few fleeting moments of beauty, poignance, or awe that will send the audience home with a truer sense of self, a greater propensity for reflection — or an abdomen cramped by laughter.

     But that isn’t what makes performing arts great. That distinction goes to its ability to attract people for all different reasons; its versatility and its breadth make it the Swiss Army Knife of extracurricular pursuits.

     In four years with the ARHS Theatre Company, I got involved with about twenty projects. My participation in almost every one was induced by something different than the last: I auditioned for my first play, Macbeth, because I had a passion for literature; I auditioned for my second, Hairspray, because I wanted to make new friends. Last spring, I auditioned for my final play — a student-written adaptation of Sredni Vashtar — out of appreciation for the work of the director, who had helped me implement my vision for Henry IV, Part 1, which I had directed earlier that year in the hope of making a statement about youth leadership and self-assertion.

     That’s just me. My motives ranged from making friends to thanking them; from reading them to writing them; and from learning from my peers to helping to teach them. Thousands of other people — actors, dancers, singers; activists, poets, and comedians — have passed through the high school auditorium, and thousands more will, each with their own motives and ambitions. For their contributions, the performing arts department, the school at large, and the world beyond are a better place.

— Louis, ARHS Student     .   

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