Hope Clayton, Staff Writer

Musical Theater is something that is very near and dear to my heart. Whether it is being in a production or simply sitting and watching one, I always know I am in for a treat. I participated in musical theater from second grade through eighth grade. I got to portray many different characters, and through every character I got to learn something new about myself. I love getting to put my own personality into a character. It is like getting to be a character, but also getting to let the character be a little bit of me.

In the summer my church has a Children’s Choir Camp (C3) program that they do every year. This is probably my favorite volunteer work that I do. In one week, we teach kids from kindergarten through fifth grade a musical. A few weeks before the musical we hold auditions so children with roles and solos can be learning their parts. If a child does not want a main role, then he or she will simply be in the choir, but the choir still dances and plays a huge role in the production. This summer will be my fifth year volunteering with this program, and I absolutely love every second I get to spend there.

My favorite musical theater experience was getting to go to Broadway. I went with the HMS choir to New York City my seventh and eighth grade years. In seventh grade I got to see Cinderella, and in eighth grade I saw Aladdin, which was my favorite. These were both absolutely amazing, magical experiences, and I will treasure them forever. I have a poster from Aladdin that is signed by all the company members, and it is my favorite thing in my room.

I am so thankful for all the friends I have made through musical theater and all the impacts it has made on me. Musical theater has given me a voice, and it is something that will always have a special place in my heart. I hope to return to New York soon to see more productions, but until then I will be attending productions at local venues.