Sarah Buchanan greatly anticipates her new role as Student Director of theater


Trading the dance floor for the stage, junior Sarah Buchanan finds herself backstage as Assistant Student Director/Head of Deck Crew preparing for the role of Student Director her senior year.

Next year, her fourth and final year in the theater program, Sarah will run it all by herself.

“I’m working below the current Student Director; it’s more just like learning the ropes of theater and learning all there is to do so that next year I can take on the whole role of running it,” Sarah said.

As Sarah learned her new role, she began to realize that a theater cast is much more different than a team, which she has grown used to while dancing.

“It’s such a family,” Sarah said. “Dance is more of a teamwork thing, but theater is more of a leadership role for me. It’s challenged me a lot in so many different ways. The mental aspect and leadership are a lot different.”

Due to being surrounding by the casts on almost a daily basis, it was easy for Sarah to bond with the people, but she has never done so with a group with like this ever before.  

“[Teams and casts] are similar in the sense that everyone bonds and becomes super close,” Sarah said. “But on a team, you have to physically work hard, whereas a cast is more mentally supporting each other.”

In addition to dancing, Sarah has also participated in school activities, but theater is a whole different world than what she is normally exposed to during school.

“It’s a different kind of leadership role that I have never had before,” Sarah said. “I’ve done student council and stuff, but this is a whole different side of the school that I’d never thought I’d be a part of. It’s different from things that I’m used to, but I really like it.”

As this year’s musical rapidly approaches, Sarah will witness some of her very last pre-show rituals that everyone, but most importantly the seniors, partake in. As she takes in all the love from the cast, the tradition makes an emotional impact.

“A half hour before every show starts, we all go upstairs into the dance hall,” Sarah said. “Mrs. DeMeester gives us a little talk that’s really emotional, and all the seniors go in the middle; it’s just a tradition we’ve done before every show.”

Along with limited traditions left as Sarah’s junior year starts to fade away, she also begins to stress about her new responsibility and its role ahead.

“Next year, I’m definitely nervous about having all that responsibility on my shoulders,” Sarah said. “It will be weird having no other students working above me, but I already feel prepared and excited to see what next year has in store.”

Even though the job may be challenging, Sarah knows that all the work she puts in will pay off and will be exciting for her.

“[I’m probably most excited for] show week for plays and musicals,” Sarah said. “It’s such a fun time because everyone’s really excited for the shows, and I think it would be fun to be the leader during the whole thing.”

As she reaches her fourth year, she reflects on the first time she had been introduced to this whole new world as a young high school student a few years ago.

“Freshman year, Mrs. DeMeester (director of Theater) was my English teacher,” Sarah said. “I got to know her really well, and she thought theater would be something really good for me, so she asked if I wanted to join the crew.”

Although, this wasn’t the first time Sarah had thought about doing theater. Her older sister, who had graduated before Sarah, exposed her to the wonders of theater.

“My sister was always in theater when she was in high school,” Sarah said. “I always loved the idea of being a part of the amazing productions put on by the FHC Theatre Program. Whether it was on stage, or behind the scenes, it was always something that intrigued me.”

Now three years later, Sarah fears the end of her theater days. With only a year left, she greatly cherishes all the memories she has made within her unique world of theater.

“When I graduate, I’m definitely going to miss the amazing people who were part of it,” Sarah said. “I think most of all I’ll miss the little moments like laughing with the cast and crew members backstage and making fun memories together. I’ll miss the production as a whole, but definitely the little moments that make everything much more special.”