Seniors are saying goodbye to many things during this season, and Brycen Hart and Rylee Gravitte are no exception. These long-time members of ACTS Drama Club took their final bows in the Bernadine Bigner Cantrell Theater in March following the club’s musical production of “Newsies.”
In her first major musical role, Gravitte portrayed Katherine Plummer, the show’s female lead, following her experience in the “Singin’ In the Rain” and “Tuck Everlasting” ensembles. While the role of Katherine is difficult both vocally and emotionally, Gravitte drew inspiration from her character, adopting both her confidence and drive.
“I’m not super confident…but Katherine is a really arched-back, shoulders back, head-up, super confident [character],” said Gravitte.
This confidence, perseverance, discipline and drive are a few of the many skills Gravitte and Hart claim to have gained from their time both on and off stage.
Both girls encourage aspiring actors and potential club members to pursue a role in ACTS and stick with it, even if the thought of getting on a stage seems frightening.
“If you’re not really wanting to [join drama], just try it out. I started in eighth grade and quit for a year, and I wish I wouldn’t have quit,” said Gravitte.
Hart, who portrayed Pulitzer’s secretary, played a newsie and served as the ensemble’s dance captain, voiced that her only regret regarding her time in ACTS is that she did not join earlier.
While Gravitte hopes to pursue a degree in nursing, she is considering using the skills she learned from drama club while singing in her college’s choir.
Similarly, Hart intends to study physical therapy and participate in a musical theater group at her college, Lee University. While physical therapy and theater do not initially appear to have much in common, Hart recognizes how her drama club skills can benefit herself and her patients in her future career.
“[Drama] is good experience for my career in physical therapy because sometimes all you can do is be there with a person while they’re experiencing something,” said Hart. Hart hopes to inspire young actors with the lessons she has learned from her drama club experience.
“Never give up. Always keep pushing forward even though sometimes you feel like you can’t do it, because you can do it,” said Hart. “If someone’s struggling, hold their hand and let them know you’re there and that you can help them. Have a good time.”