The Vinton-Shellsburg drama department’s presentation of “There’s a Monster in My Closet” did not include the ending of the musical, when the high school singers and performed for the Tilford Elementary students on Wednesday.
Apologizing for the incomplete play, senior Brittany Grendler, told the youngsters there is one way to find out how the musical ends: To join the Little Vikes Drama Camp.
Marcy Horst directed the high school version, and will also be the Little Vikes Drama Camp director. A few of the high school students will assist Marcy with the youngsters at the camp that begins June 5.
As they wrapped up their acting season — or for seniors, their high school acting careers, the older thespians offered some words of advice to the younger students.
“I would tell them to start as young as you can,” says freshman Gabe Schmidt, who played the leading role of Murray, the monster who refused to follow the monster rule about staying in the closet, out of sight.
Also, says Gabe: “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.” He also encourages to be bold and willing to do things that others may consider silly. In his role as Murray, he does a lot of singing and dancing that some people would feel silly doing, he says.
The youngest of three Schmidt brothers, Gabe began singing with his dad and brothers Samuel and Steve in the Schmidt Family Band (later renamed Strait Run) when he was about five.
And yes, says Gabe, he made some mistakes on stage as Murray, but quick thinking on his part kept the audience from knowing.
Brittany, who will continue performing for others in the Luther choir and theater productions when she starts college in the fall, advises the young performers to appreciate and enjoy each moment they spend in theater.
“It wasn’t as sad as I thought it would be,” Brittany says of her final role in a high school play. “I know that I’m going to continues performing, so that is some solace for me. Obviously I’m going to miss everyone, but ultimately I’m just grateful for all of the memories that theatre gave me. I forged some of my best friendships through it. Also made me think about how grateful I am for Marcy and Gerald for putting so much time into something they don’t have to. They have given so many great experiences to those of us who love being in the auditorium more than anywhere else.”
To the elementary students in the audience, Britttany advises them to remember that memories are great, but not quite the same as living the experiences that inspire them.
Click HERE for more information about the Little Vikes Drama Camp, including schedule information, and a registration form.
Marcy says the Little Vikes version will have more actors, more monsters, and more special characters, including Santa Claus.
Click HERE for more photos.
See a video of Gabe, as Murray, performing a dance as he sings about his need to come out of the closet and get his groove on: