We’ve Got Spirit!

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Kat Smith , Staff Writer

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “school pride”? I think of the football team and all of the games that are announced over the PA system. But maybe you think of the soccer players or the cheerleaders, dance team, or the band? But do you think of the theatre department? Probably not, because we don’t run out in school themed uniforms and we don’t have our win to loss ratio announced every morning. What we do have, however, is enough pride to sell out almost all of the shows we perform.

Here at GCHS our theatre department puts on three to four shows a year, all of which sell out more than one of the performances dates. Most people think that all theatre nerds do is put on a costume and recite some Shakespeare, then call it a day. Think again! Our rehearsals include vigorous training, but not the kind you would think of. Our movement on stage isn’t something you find in a playbook, it’s something we have to choreograph. Then we have to find a way for it to look as natural as possible and polish it to perfection. Sometimes this means a three hour rehearsal that turns into nine hours including sweating, crying, and countless repetitions.

Delilah Donaldson, a GCHS senior who is the only senior to be in theatre all four years, has been in a plethora of plays here at the high school. She feels strongly about this topic and said, “You know how people always get excited and dressed up for the football games and the players talk about feeling this sense of school pride right before the game? On opening night, as I watch the audience fill, I just get so happy and proud to be a Warrior. We have one of the best theatre programs in the state and not a lot of schools can say that. I feel like we’re kind of the underdogs here, because even though we’re just as amazing as the football team, we don’t get the same recognition, you know? The theater department is not in the Belleville News-Democrat like the athletic department at GCHS is, but we bring just as big of crowds and I think that’s something the whole school should really take pride in.”

Junior Kyle Davis, a former football player, is now active in the theatre program. He said, “Before theatre, I was a football player. And although the sport has a lot of spirit, theatre gives you a better reaction when it comes to excitement and emotion. Plus, in football the spirit can differ between the two different teams, while in theatre the spirit is all about you and your cast. Also, there are always times where you will get negative emotions from the audience, while in theatre there is rarely a negative emotion.”

There is someone, however, who has a very different outlook on this subject. Freshmen London Kimble is no stranger to the stage here at GCHS. London started working with Mr. John Manoogian on stage at a young age.

She said, “We ‘theatre nerds’ have a great magnitude of team spirit, trust me. Yet, I don’t believe what clubs, cliques, or teams you are a part of can determine a person’s spirit. I believe it depends on how much you want to give to your school, and the support you can show for your Warriors!”

This year, the performing arts department was nominated for an award from the Chamber of Commerce and won by a landslide! Not many schools or other clubs can say they have achieved this great honor, and yet we are still an overlooked club by our peers.

Mr. Manoogian has expressed that his goal as the department head has always been and will continue to be finding new ways to include the community in all the shows and the experiences that come with live theatre.

He said,

“When it comes to school spirit, I want this theatre to go much further and evoke a sense of city pride as well so that everyone in Granite is proud to be a part of the Warrior family!” ”

— Mr. Manoogian

Whether you’re a cheerleader, a football player or part of the bass fishing club, we all have something to take pride in. As a school, we shouldn’t limit our warrior spirit to a Friday night football game or the Welcome Back Rally, our pride should reach every inch of GCHS!