Student Actors in the Spotlight: Trahan and Smith Talk Drama

By: Madeline Schindler

Theatre is an important component of high school for many students at NHS. Some enjoy the excitement of being onstage, while others appreciate the technical aspect of theatre.

Brooke Trahan

Brooke Trahan playing Anne Frank in NHS Drama’s recent production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Brooke Trahan, NHS senior and President of Drama Club, has been involved in acting for almost eleven years. “I got involved in acting when I was about seven. I joined a dance studio called Center Stage, where I took a few dance classes and also an introductory acting class,” she explained.

Brooke auditioned and received her first role in Center Stage’s production of “Cinderella,” when she landed the role of Cinderella in the play.

In high school, Brooke has taken all three of the drama classes available at NHS. In addition to her participation in drama class, Brooke has also auditioned for several plays. She appreciates the rewards and challenges that acting presents.

“For me, the most difficult part of acting is becoming the character. There’s more than just reading the lines. You have to do your research and get background on the character. You have to ‘read between the lines’ and figure out what the character really means when they say that line.”

A good audition sets the stage for your role in a play. Brooke’s advice for auditioning is to “start preparing as soon as you can. [Directors] want to see you take on the character and how you think it should be done. Be prepared and be yourself!”

For Brooke, character development begins with the character’s story. She commented, “[I] learn about the character itself. I research what play the character is from and what the play is about. I put myself into their shoes and try different ways of saying the lines until they feel right.”

Brooke starred as Anne Frank in the Drama Club’s production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” this past fall.

“‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ was by far one of my favorite plays to work on. Not only did I get the chance to perform as a lead for the first time, I got to work with an absolutely amazing cast and a fantastic director! I have learned so much from that production.”

Brooke is cast in the upcoming company of NHS’s spring musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Brooke plans to continue her education in theatre by pursuing a major in theatre performance at Kennesaw State University.

Brooke recommends that anyone with an interest in theatre to give it a try. “You never know how you feel about something until you do it. There’s so much in theatre that you are bound to find something you enjoy.”

Jory Smith


Jory Smith on stage during NHS Drama’s “Shakespeare Project.”

Jory Smith, NHS senior, became involved in theatre when he took Drama I his freshman year. Jory has experience both onstage and behind the scenes. He made his stage debut at NHS in the 2013 Drama II Showcase, and since then, he has worked tech for numerous shows.

Drama has consistently been a part of Jory’s high school career. In addition to Stage Craft, he has taken all three drama classes. Jory is an active part of the Drama Club and serves as an executive officer.

Acting is as genuine as you make it. Actors draw from personal experience in order to develop a character. Being athletic is an advantage for Jory, and he explained “[it] helps you move on your feet and know how to carry body.”

A part of acting is finding what qualities of the character are relatable to the actor. Jory is able to incorporate his energetic personality into each character he plays.

Jory commented, “I love to see people laugh and smile. To know that I can do that brings joy to me.

“I’ve matured a lot from where I have started. Ramseur is a lot of help. And just having experience is a lot of help also. Taking drama classes helps a lot, too. You are onstage and it helps with stage fright. Experience, experience!” Jory said.

Recently, Jory worked tech for the Drama Club’s production of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” In addition to his tech work, Jory also made a cameo appearance as one of the gestapo at the close of the play.

Jory is looking forward to serving as a member of the stage crew for NHS’s spring musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”



Looking forward, he said theatre will continue to be a part of his life after high school.
Jory said he will be majoring in Technical Theatre at Young Harris College and would love to either act or work tech on Broadway in the future.