"I can with all honesty say that participating in Grab Bag Theater was the best part of my high school life. I had been a part of many plays and musicals before auditioning for Hairspray my junior year of high school. In the past, one person had always stuck out, and the rest of us never had the chance to explore our skills and talents on the stage. When I was cast as Tracy Turnblad, I thought that it was my turn to be that person. However, I learned that Grab Bag was so much more than one person. The cast and student directors truly embraced the teamwork that came with putting on a show, so I never felt that anybody took the spotlight without the entire cast standing right there with them.
The cast of Hairspray went through some rough times. I mean, a bunch of high school kids starting a brand new production company with absolutely no funding or adult supervision isn’t the easiest thing in the world. The cast cried, fought, starved…but we lived and breathed the theatre. Even at the lowest times, we could come together and think to ourselves “look at what we have put together.” Our pride outweighed the struggles that we went through, and come opening night, it was all worth it. The cast just became that much closer. Everyone loved everybody. Nobody was left out. I have personally never been involved in anything where I loved EVERY single person, but Grab Bag gave me a chance to be included in something like that.
To this day I continue to miss my experience performing in Hairspray, though getting the chance to do it all over again with Anything Goes was phenomenal. The directors felt more confident in themselves, having already developed one amazing production, and thus came into the new show with a ton of brand new, exciting ideas. As students, they understood what was going on with the cast. When we were stressed and they felt tension, we would start out practice with a fun game to loosen our spirits and put a smile on our faces. I never felt unhappy at rehearsal. Never. That’s rarely something I can say about activities that require so much hard work. Yet, these amazing directors managed to keep the large cast satisfied and happy at all times.
The end of the show was accompanied by tears, having made so many fantastic friends, and sad to not be able to spend every day with them. Grab Bag is sort of like a safe haven for those who have a special quirk, or just want to stand in the spotlight. Everyone is so accepting and friendly, that anyone in the world could participate in one of these shows and make amazing friends, all the while having the time of their life. I will always look back on the two shows I acted in with the fondest memories. Hands down, best decision of my life."