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Insight into the theater program

A deep dive into a community rooted in expression, inclusion and artistry
Rose Champion (12) and Sam Razumna (11) on stage. (Courtesy of Callum Martinson)


For thespians at BHS, the theater program has fostered a community centered around expression, inclusion and artistry.

Auditions for this year’s musical, “The Addams Family,” were recently announced. For students looking to audition, the process, energy and workload is described by people participating.

“It’s nerve wracking but I think it’s gotten better as I’ve auditioned more,”  said Sam Ruzumna, junior actor and Thespian. 

Ruzumna has been in five theater productions during his career, all of which have been with BHS theater. His work ethic and love of theater led him to take on larger leadership roles like joining the Thespians, a group of juniors and seniors that aim to help facilitate and organize theater productions.

The auditioning process itself includes a four day-long schedule that includes vocal auditions starting Tuesday November 28, which is followed by a dance call, an anticipated call back and finally a list of the cast posted the Friday of that week. 

Going into an audition, Champion shared, she has developed some of her own tricks for performing well. 

“I like to make sure I have a really good night’s sleep,” Champion said. “Make sure that whatever you’re singing or working with is memorized because there’s nothing worse than going up there and blanking.”

With twelve theater productions under her belt, Champions’ insights are backed up by her merit.

“It’s interesting seeing people audition because I’ve never been in shows where the only people who are auditioning were people who have done shows in the past,” Ruzumna said.

Welcoming people of all skill sets interested in theater is something Ruzumna always strives for.

“My main goal is to make sure that everyone knows we’re all in this together,” Ruzumna said.

Cultivating this air of inclusivity supports the growth of this closely knit community. This is a goal that another Ballard Thespian also shares.

“I think there’s still a stigma around being involved in theater and I want to get rid of that,” said Rose Champion, senior actor and Thespian President. 

While it is already a large community with many active participants, Champion wishes to bring even more people into it. By clearing the air for any discouraging stereotypes, Champion and Ruzumna hope to see more people pursue their interests in this field.

“I’m trying to bring more people into the thespian society. I wanna build some more leadership roles and take one on for myself” Champion said.

This is another goal of Champions, increasing student involvement in bigger roles, making theater a very student led program. Even though she already has taken on the role of Thespian President, Champion wishes to demonstrate her dedication to this artform by pursuing more responsibilities for herself as well.

Champions’ passion for theater started at the young age of seven, pushing her to pursue this artform with a deeper understanding of it. 

“It’s such a really important art form to me and because it’s been around for so long it has a special place in everyone’s hearts,” Champion said. 

Similarly, Ruzumna has multiple years of experience under his belt, starting from his very first role in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” his freshman year.

“I enjoy just the idea of getting to be someone in whatever way you want,” Ruzumna said. 

Ruzumna wishes to foster this passion of his and turn it into a lifelong career.

“Nine out of ten, it does have its flaws but in hindsight it has definitely changed my life for the better,” Ruzumna said when asked how he would rate his Ballard theater experience.

The ups and downs of theater life attracts a diverse range of people, encouraging anyone willing to put in the time and effort necessary for growth and learning.

BHS’s devoted theater community nurtured students like Rose Champion and Sam Ruzumna into the aspiring actors and playwrights they are today, both of whom wish to do the same for people with similar stories to their own and continue to be leaders in their field. 

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