Behind the Curtain

Girls student writing at desk.


Tomorrow evening, the curtain will part and lights will shine on the St. Thomas Aquinas High School stage. As our Theater Department makes last minute preparations and runs its final dress rehearsals, one young lady prepares for her debut as Anne Frank. And while we are excited to Kaylin Moriarty's dramatic flair dominate our school stage, it is her preview into the “other” side of acting that steals the spotlight today.

In the early part of the school year and as part of their English class, freshmen students were asked to focus on a past experience as part of a lesson initiative. Kaylin chose to write about her feelings behind the stage, sentiments that most actors rarely share. While confidence and poise soak up the spotlight during a theatrical performance, oftentimes actors battle with nerves and jitters. Even the most famous of performers (Barbra Streisand, Rod Stewart, Adele) struggle with pre-stage angst.  This fact, along with her beautiful prose, merit “a share” of Kaylin’s reflections in her piece, “Waiting in the Wings Crash!”. 

Waiting in the Wings Crash!

The drum hits, the orchestra begins, prologue starts. I peer out of the tiny wings backstage. I pinch my fingers together, quickly closing my eyes and attempting to put my nerves to rest. I’m squished by a large set piece as it rails into my back, and I move out of the way so it doesn't hurt me any worse than it already has. My costume begins to itch, my hat bobby-pinned to the top of my head, my cheeks rosy as ever, my eyelashes are long and dark, lips are plump and pink, shoes are shined... everything is perfect. I feel the sweat slowly dripping from the middle of my palm. People crowd around me fixing last minute details.  They quietly say things...I don't hear them.  I’m too busy drilling lines in my head. I bang the curtain with my arm and it ruffles.  I get a slight glimpse of the audience. Full house! I turn my cheek only to see a rush of people sewing ripped costumes, placing props down, moving scenery, and I yell in a loud whisper, “Break legs, ladies and gentlemen!” A million voices say thank you at the same time. I take a deep breath. The lights dim.  I step onto the stage. It feels like home. I know I'm home.  Stage lights frighten me as they rapidly go up.  I start to burn up in my layers of clothing and costuming. It makes me sweat even more than usual. I feel my eyes glisten in the bright light. I can't see, but only hear the crowd loudly roar. I show a half smile. Game face on. I begin.

Thank you, Kaylin, for your honest impressions from behind the curtain. We look forward to your contributions to Thursday and Friday’s performances as Anne Frank and all of your other contributions as a St. Thomas Aquinas Saint. You certainly promise to shine as a light in darkness for all to see.


The Diary of Anne Frank

Thursday, November 16 and Friday, November 17, 7:30pm

Admission: $5.00