Their last show: seniors reflect on time in A-West theatre department


From the production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”

The production of “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” that recently showed Thursday, April 26,  marked the end of the Arvada West seniors’ high school careers in theatre.

Graduation is an emotional time for many of the seniors. They claim that the Arvada West theatre program taught them a lot about themselves and changed their lives, though they are from entirely different aspects of the program. Jenna Shedd, a performer and director, has a lot to share about how it has helped her change as a person.

She says, “It’s improved my ability to understand people overall. Because [I had to develop]  my characters, I understand the aspects that make people who they are.”

Victoria McCollum, as stage manager in past shows, has had a different experience, but she learned just as much. “I learned a lot of things about myself, such as that everyone lives their lives differently, but it doesn’t mean it’s wrong because it’s different.”

They agree that there are many components  to participate in within theatre, which they represent: Performing, building the sets, pit (band/orchestra), managing, and carrying out shift changes are all aspects of the productions.

The Senior Show differs from the other productions in the sense that they get to experience yet another aspect: they are responsible for directing.

Shedd states, “It’s a little bit strange trying to teach people who are your own age.” However, the program helps polish and teach skills that make the task easier.

McCollum, a director in the production alongside Shedd, says, “It’s definitely helped me with a lot of leadership and confidence skills. It’s one of my favorite things to do.”

Similarly, Shedd claims that the program, “… definitely made me more extroverted, ’cause I’m a little bit of an introvert.” The skills they have taken from it can be used in their everyday lives and in school, particularly school presentations.

Although both have aspirations to continue with theatre in their free time, they both seem to realize it will not be the same. They have some worries, denial, and sadness, but they seem to be excited for the future.

“I’m a little scared actually to leave everything I know behind and start something new,” McCollum says about the matter. They have many good memories with the group, and share the thought that the “family” is what sets it apart.

 “For the last four years my motivation to still [show] up to school has been going to theatre after school,” says McCollum.

“It’s a little crazy. I don’t feel like it’s over; it feels like I should still be doing it. It was very surreal the last night [when she got to perform], because I was doing “Ireland” [in “Legally Blonde”] and…  looking at Lauren, and we just cried on stage. It’s just such a big family that you get to be a part of, and after being in it for two years, it’s just hard to leave it,” Shedd recalls.