Seniors involved with the Delaware Hayes Thespians troupe didn’t get to perform their final high school musical production this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but members of the class of 2020 said it won’t change how they look back at their high theater experience.
Kylie Booth was slated to play Matron Mama Morton in “Chicago” but the performance was cancelled when the schools were closed. Booth said Wednesday that what she miss most about the troupe is her castmates.
“I will miss the friends I have made,” Booth said. “They have truly become family, and my life would have been completely different if I never met them.”
Booth added she’s felt a special connection to her fellow theater students ever since her first show.
“My favorite memory is the cast meeting we had right before the final performance of ‘Damn Yankees’ in my freshman year,” Booth said. “That was the moment I realized the special family I was in, and I was so inspired by the seniors around me.”
Booth said she is looking forward to attending The Ohio State University this fall to study music education.
Hailey Wright, who was slated to play Roxie Hart, one of the leads of the show, said she’ll miss the magic that comes with putting a show together.
“I will miss catching moments of magic and talent in my castmates,” Wright said. “Putting together a show is more than the outcome, it’s the journey getting there. I’ll miss the talent and my family at Hayes.”
Wright added she has a tradition that helps her savor the little moments.
“My favorite memory of theatre at Hayes is a collection of small moments,” Wright said. “From each show I choose one specific moment to remember. My favorite moment was from ‘Mary Poppins,’ right before step in time, watching three of my best friends in one of the most magical scenes I have ever witnessed.”
Wright said she’ll be attending Bowling Green State University in the fall to study musical theater, adding she is proud of her time at Hayes and for the work she and her castmates did.
“There was a moment after our last rehearsal that we all gathered in the choir room one last time, all scared, but proud of what we had done,” Wright said. “I’m really so proud of everyone in the cast.”
Likewise, Cora Brady, the lead hair and makeup artist for “Chicago,” said she’ll miss the theater community when she graduates.
“Theatre gave me a group of people I felt so connected with,” Brady said. “I rarely felt alone during the season. I wish I spent more time appreciating that feeling. My favorite memory of Hayes was dinner with the cast, crew and pit. I always tried to sit somewhere new to hear about what rehearsal was like for all the different groups.”
Brady added the seniors are hoping to be able to meet up again after the COVID-19 outbreak.
As for her future endeavors, Brady will be attending cosmetology school and special effects makeup school. Her dream is to start a career doing makeup in horror films.
Maddie Hatton, who was set to play the narrator and several ensemble characters in the show, also hoped that seniors would be able to get together sometime to keep up their traditions before everyone goes their separate ways.
“My favorite memory from Hayes theater was the traditions we would do before every show,” Hatton said. “These traditions helped get our adrenaline going and got us motivated for a show. I will miss the people and the community built around Hayes theater. It truly felt like having a second family.”
Hatton said she’ll be attending Bowling Green State University and majoring in theater with a specialization in acting and directing.
Hayes seniors will graduate Saturday when they participate in a drive-thru ceremony.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.