[Multimedia] Get to know MSD’s senior drama students

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Mariajose Vera

Senior David Prengler has been involved in drama since fourth grade. Prengler now is the President for Douglas Drama, and he has been with the MSD drama department in performance theatre for four years.

Take a sneak peak at MSD seniors David Prengler and Hayden Redshaw performing their piece “Love Sick,” which was State Selected at District 7 Thespians of South Florida. Photo Courtesy of David Prengler

  1. President David Prengler

Senior David Prengler has been involved in drama since fourth grade. Prengler now is the President for Douglas Drama, and he has been with the MSD drama department in performance theatre for four years (Mariajose Vera)

Current Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School drama President David Prengler has been involved in drama since fourth grade. His responsibilities as president involve overlooking the other officers, club activities and making the ultimate decisions for the benefit of the club.

Some of the many school productions Prengler has been cast in include “Rockin’ Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Imaginary” and the upcoming musical “Something Rotten!” After he graduates from MSD, he hopes to continue to pursue drama.

“Drama has given me a lot of confidence being on stage can take anyone out of their comfort zone,” Prengler said. “I am excited to pursue drama in college with a Musical Theatre major.”

In drama club, their primary activity consists of thespian competitions which are at both district and state levels. At these competitions the students are able to demonstrate their talent to other schools and judges in the form of monologues, solos, duets and more.

“I do drama because I love the thrill of the stage, the community of the theatre, and I am passionate about entertainment and love to put on a show,” Prengler said.

After he graduates from MSD, he hopes to continue to pursue drama by getting a major in Musical Theater from a four-year university. 

All in all, Prengler has a true passion about theatre that is evident in all of his performances. He hopes to have a large audience for the upcoming musical “Something Rotten!,” in which he will be playing the main role of Nick Bottom.

2. Vice President Caroline Eaton

Senior Caroline Eaton is Vice President of the Douglas Drama and Lead Cappie Critic. Eaton has been with the MSD drama department in performance theatre for four years (Mariajose Vera)

Caroline Eaton is extremely involved in the drama program, being Vice President and Lead Cappie Critic, which are both important roles in the behind the scenes of drama. 

“I not only love the act of performing and being in shows, I love the people and the community drama has created,” Eaton said. 

She has been in the drama program since freshman year and has been in the productions “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,” “Lightning Thief,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Imaginary” and “We Will Rock You.” 

Eaton has always loved performing and is very confident on stage. She puts in the maximum effort in each show and loves participating. 

She prepares for every performance by reading over her lines and stays at school until about 9 p.m. everyday of the week. 

“Drama has taught me how to step outside of my comfort zone. I have tried so many new things that I can only attribute to being in drama,” Eaton said.

Eaton sees herself as being involved in the entertainment industry whether it is through actually performing or on the business side. She will continue to take drama classes in college and throughout her life. 

“I want to take theatre classes, singing classes and possibly be an actress on Broadway or some musical theater company in the future,” Eaton said.

Eaton takes drama seriously because it encourages others to try something new. She credits the drama program for helping her step outside her comfort zone and creating a community of lifelong friends.

3. Historian Sarah Wyner

Senior Sarah Wyner is the historian for Douglas Drama. She has been with the MSD drama deparement in performance theatre, while also working out choreography, for four years (Mariajose Vera)

Sarah Wyner is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is currently the MSD drama historian, as well as being a choreographer and performer. 

She has been in the drama program since freshman year and enjoys the productions and the class very much. Wyner loves performing but choreography is where her true passion follows. 

She has been in “Rockin Midsummer’s Night Dream,” “Lightning Thief,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Anti-Social,” “We Will Rock You” and, soon to come, “Something Rotten. 

“Drama has taught me to be a leader and a role model,” Wyner said. “I obtained numerous skills that have prepared me for life after high school.” 

She aspires to be a role model and leader to her classmates in drama. She lifts them up and always encourages them to do their best in every task or performance. 

“I love exploring the stories of many characters and performing onstage,” Wyner said. “Making audiences smile and leave the performance feeling something is a huge part of it.”

She enjoys brightening people’s day and making the audience feel like they belong and almost feel as if they are in the performance. 

“It taught me to find the good in everything, appreciate what I have, and that failure is what brings you success,” Wyner said.

She hopes drama will be in her future and to attend a four year-college majoring with a BFA in Musical Theatre. She is extremely grateful for the opportunities drama has offered her.

4. Reese Garrity

Senior Reese Garrity is the co-technical director for Douglas Drama. She has been part of the MSD drama department for three years (Mariajose Vera)

Reese Garrity’s involvement in drama goes back to when she was a young child at around five years old. As a senior, Garrity continues to find herself participating in the theatre for the MSD drama program as a co-technical director, assistant stage manager and student director. 

This year will mark Garrity’s third year with Douglas Drama. She took a step back from the grueling after-school schedule many drama students experience during sophomore year to focus on academics. 

“I skipped sophomore year because I was starting to take harder classes and I didn’t know how to juggle that and theatre,” Garrity said. “Once I got accustomed to higher levels of work, I knew I could handle both so I went back.” 

Although she has dabbled in performance theatre, Garrity began to lean towards technical theatre during her highschool years. Overall, she has been involved in countless productions, including Douglas Drama’s productions of “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time,” “A Rockin’ Midsummer’s Night Dream,” “The M Word,” “We Will Rock You,” “Moana,” “Controlling Interest,” “Puffs,” “With Their Eyes” and soon to be “Something Rotten.”

Despite having a lead role in technical theatre at MSD, Garrity has always been enamored with the singing, acting and dancing of performance theatre. Outside of technical theatre, sherecalls performing in multiple roles when she was younger. 

“Outside of MSD, I have been in plays like “Children’s Letters to God” where they had me, a Jewish person, sing about my devotion to Jesus, and Freckleface Strawberry where I was a dancing gangster freckle from New Jersey,” Garrity said. 

Being in Douglas Drama for several years allowed Garrity to express herself in ways other programs at MSD could not have provided. With the performative nature and creative environment, drama shaped Garrity into what she believes to be her most authentic self. 

“Drama has taught me how to live as myself: vivacious and dramatic,” Garrity said. 

Next year, Garrity plans to continue drama in college, as she will minor in theatre with a concentration of stage management. However, she does not wish to commit to drama professionally after graduation. 

Still, Garrity continues to thrive in Douglas Drama as a senior and will remember her several years of contribution to the theatre community.

5. Hannah Grinbank

Senior Hannah Grinbank is a co-technical director for Douglas Drama. She has been with the MSD drama department for four years (Mariajose Vera)

Hannah Grinbank was introduced to theatre during middle school in the Westglades drama program. Entering into her fourth year with Douglas Drama, Grinbank has gained a reputation in technical theatre. As a senior, she now holds dual leadership positions of technical director and stage manager. 

During her time at MSD, Grinbank stuck with technical theatre, where she succeeds most, having never been casted as a performer in Douglas Drama. However, she works tirelessly behind the scenes, and has worked in an abundance of shows, including “The Curious Incident of the Dog and the Nighttime,” “A Rockin’ Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Anna and August,” “Imaginary,” “We Will Rock You,” “Antisocial,” “Puffs,” “With Their Eyes” and “Something Rotten.” 

Grinbank values her class time in Douglas Drama to escape the monotonous repetition of her other classes. The MSD drama class’s structure allows for Grinbank and other students to express themselves through their work in theatre. 

“I do drama because it gives me a creative outlet during the school day,” Grinbank said.

Along with the extra flow of creativity drama offers, Grinbank takes pleasure in watching the pieces fall together in a show. As she works as the skeleton for the theatre, making many of Douglas Drama’s performances come to life, Grinbank witnesses as several scenes and stage commands coordinate with each other. 

 “I also love being able to watch a show come together,” Grinbank said. 

Through drama, Grinbank has discovered that she can use her experiences to her benefit. With her involvement in multiple shows in technical theatre, she was taught many useful skills that she can use outside of her theatre class. 

“Drama has taught me how to be a leader and how to work with other people,” Grinbank said. “It’s also given me great organizational skills, as well as time management skills.” 

Though her passion and love for theatre is strong, she will not be pursuing it as a career. Grinbank will be doing psychology instead. However, she will continue to utilize the skills she has gained from theatre through college and beyond. 

6. Colin McLean

Senior Colin McLean has worked behind the scenes directing, lighting, operating sound and designing the set for multiple Douglas Drama productions. He works as the back-bone for the MSD drama department, as his work backstage allows many shows come to life (Mariajose Vera)

Colin McLean has been involved with drama throughout middle and high school. He has also worked with operating sound consoles for years before being in drama.

McLean has worked backstage in many Douglas Drama productions through high school. His main roles involve directing or designing sound and lighting. He also works on scenic construction for the props of the MSD productions.

McLean’s leadership involves being sound technician for “Imaginary,” head props, lighting, and set for “We Will Rock You” and “Antisocial,” stage manager, head lighting, sound and film editor for “The Little Mermaid” and construction and sound mentor for “Puffs.”

Being in drama for several years has had a great positive impact on Colin’s life. He was able to make several new friends and enjoy the aspects of theatre.

“Drama has taught me the value of teamwork, group brainstorming, patience and how to problem solve,” McLean said. “Drama has also taught me how to be a leader and teacher to people who need you.”

Colin’s work in drama and theatre is planned to escalate out of high school.

“I do see drama vividly in my future. I am looking to major in technical theatre, continue to work on shows, and teach in my four years of college,” McLean said. “I am looking to become a theatre educator at the high school level.”

Colin’s tremendous time within multiple drama departments has had a special place in his heart. He loves to see people come together and make the processes of the shows rewarding. Seeing the smiles on audience members’ faces is something he always looks forward to.

 

7. Deanna O’Connell

Senior Deanna O’Connel is a co-technical director for Douglas Drama. She has been with the MSD drama department in technical theatre for four years (Mariajose Vera)

Deanna O’Connell has been an active member of the theatre community since seventh grade. She began her theatre career with the Westglades Middle School drama program and now holds a leadership role at MSD with Douglas Drama. With titles like technical director and stage manager under her belt, it is known that O’Connell has true talent in the technical aspect of theatre. 

Over her time in Douglas Drama, O’Connell has worked in the technical department for the shows “Peter and the Star Catcher,” “Imaginary,” “We Will Rock You,” “Antisocial” and “Puffs.” She is extremely passionate about theatre, and it shows in her hard work and dedication to it. Though she prefers to stay behind the scenes and help the shows technically, her impact on the productions do not go unnoticed. 

“I do drama because I love the people in it and the sense of community, and also because I see it as a form of expression,” O’Connell said. 

O’Connell also has learned multiple lessons from being in drama. She was taught teamwork skills, finding new perspectives and thinking on her feet. 

“Being a part of drama has allowed me to learn to always be thinking fast, because with theatre, unpredictable things can happen and I had to be able to adapt when plans got derailed,” O’Connell said. “I also was able to improve on working with other people as a team.”

High school is not where O’Connell’s theatre journey ends though, as she plans to go to college for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in production design with a focus on costume design. In the future, she wishes to achieve the goal of pursuing theatre as a career.