It was Friday night, and the curtains had just closed. The audience had filed out, and the Moffat County High School auditorium was once again quiet.
Backstage, actors and actresses unwound after a go-for-broke performance of “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood.”
For seniors in the cast, the comedy was a swansong. It signaled an early step in the long march toward spring graduation.
For them, it was a final opportunity to hit their marks and make their mark.
And, they went for it.
Senior Kyra McClellan said she and other seniors approached the production knowing full well it would be their last.
McClellan, who played Lil Scarlet with a convincing Cockney accent, said it was a chance to go big.
“You don’t want any regrets when you’re leaving this building on Saturday night,” she said.
Senior Kimberlynne Hill said she approached the character Marion realizing it was a last chance. She played the character like the “ultimate soap opera actress.”
“It’s like, you’re leaving, so why would you care what anybody thinks of you?” Hill said.
This gusto was also true of senior Tucker Trujillo.
Trujillo played English royalty in the play. Although his character was named Prince John, Trujillo played the part like a queen, per instructions.
Trujillo recalled co-director Heather Dahlberg’s notes on the character during rehearsals in January.
“She said, ‘We want you to be the biggest queen on the stage. We want you to be so much larger than life — obnoxious and flamboyant.’ And I was like, ‘Um, yes,’” Trujillo said.
In the Friday performance, Trujillo lorded over the stage in a billowy silk blouse, white tights and gold shoes. He belted his lines to the rafters, and sashayed fearlessly before a crowd of peers and neighbors.
“Theater takes a lot of courage,” he said. “You have to be pretty damn confident in yourself to do this — especially what I did.”
Trujillo said he’s not afraid of taunts his character might generate among fellow students in MCHS hallways this week.
“I could really … (care less) what people say about me,” Trujillo said. “I’ve had (things) talked about me since I was in second grade. I’ve gotten over it.
“If they want to make fun of me, that’s fine.”
“Robin Hood” was Trujillo’s fifth and final production on the MCHS stage. This fall, he’ll attend the theater-arts program at the University of Northern Colorado.
Trujillo said he’s excited to pursue acting beyond the walls of MCHS, but he’s also sorry he has to move on.
“It’s really sad knowing this is the last time I’m going to be performing with some of these people, especially (MCHS junior) Jordyn Caddy,” he said. “It makes me so sad to think I’m never going to get to do another performance in high school with her.”
Caddy played the character Lady in Waiting.
Caddy is a scene-stealing, diminutive actress with big, expressive eyes and a huge voice.
She said graduation will bring big changes to the theatre department.
“I love our seniors, and it’s going to be tough without them,” she said. “We’re losing a lot people. The majority of our cast is seniors.
“It’s kind of depressing, but hopefully the young’uns will step up.”
Despite the vacuum that will be created by graduation, Caddy remains humble about her chances for scoring big roles in next year’s productions.
“I’m pretty much happy with whatever part I get because whatever part I get is what I deserve,” she said.
Freshman Megan Gingrich played Lady Laughalot. She said the seniors have been instrumental in her understanding of the craft.
“They bring you up,” she said of the seniors’ encouragement. “They’ll say, ‘When I leave, I want you to be better than I was.’”
Gingrich said she’ll miss the departing seniors, but she’s also happy for them.
“It’s really sad,” Gingrich said. “But, I know they’re going to go off and do really great things.”
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