The Student News Site of Center Grove High School

Trojaneer

The Student News Site of Center Grove High School

Trojaneer

The Student News Site of Center Grove High School

Trojaneer

As the spotlight shines

Center Grove sophomores perform in the tale of “Anastasia” as part of the Center Grove Fine Arts Academy at Greenwood Park Mall
Young+actors+line+the+stage+as+the+Russian+tale+of+Anastasia+unfolds+at+the+Greenwood+Park+Mall%2C+featuring+various+Center+Grove+students.
Photo contributed
Young actors line the stage as the Russian tale of “Anastasia” unfolds at the Greenwood Park Mall, featuring various Center Grove students.

Spotlights shine on beaming faces as the audience roars in applause. The young actors bow, hands clasped together and filled with pride. Tucked in a corner in the Greenwood Park Mall, the Creative Grounds Fine Arts Academy (CGFAA) is bringing bright lights and Broadway to Greenwood, Indiana. 

This November, the musical theater group put on the classic Russian tale of “Anastasia, starring a number of different CGHS students such as sophomores Anika Deenik, Halle Anderson, and Mattie Meyer.

“It’s about a girl who doesn’t know who she is, she’s finding herself along the way,” Deenik said. “It’s just kind of learning how to know yourself and trust different people and a lot of different things go into it.”

CGFAA has put on a variety of musicals including “Newsies,” “Annie Jr.,” and “Les Miserables.” However, there are specific aspects of “Anastasia” that the actors say they particularly love.

“I love the history aspect,” Anderson said. “It’s very nice to learn while you’re also doing something you love. It just gave us an opportunity to learn about Russian history and more of the story of it.

No matter how big or small their part is, the actors said they found a way to be immersed in the part they were given. Mattie Meyer, who plays “Drunk #4,” a previously unnamed character, named her character “Boris” and created her own unique personality for her character. 

“I play the Tzarina who is the empress of Russia,” Anderson said. “I like playing the role because of the emotion you have to have. You just have to channel it. It takes a lot to mentally prepare for some scenes, especially because it’s really emotional, and I have to cry.”

Performing on stage in front of a crowd of people can be frightening. However, the actors execute some pre-performance rituals that allow them to calm down before going on stage.

“When you are about to go on stage, everybody just kind of goes quiet and is very with each other,” Anderson said. “We all hold hands and prepare ourselves. It’s a Christian organization, so we all gather beforehand, and we worship together, and we sing together. I think that’s a big booster. We all just join together so well and support each other.”

Even though performing on stage can be challenging, especially in a lead role, the actors describe the encouragement they feel, no matter what theater experience they had in the past.

“In my first show there, I was Ariel in ‘The Little Mermaid,’ and I was terrified because I was still pretty new to theater and still getting used to it,” Meyer said. “So, I think really taking a moment to yourself and breathing and also talking to your friends, there is a lot of reassurance there and a lot of people who are like ‘you will do amazing’ or  ‘you are going to do great’. Once you’re on stage, you kind of forget how many people are there and you’re just more in the moment.”

Overall, to the actors, CGFAA is more than just an extracurricular activity. 

“It’s a very welcoming community,” Anderson said. “It is basically a big family. It is like a second home to many of us. It’s just really good. They are so welcoming and so embracing.”

 

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