South students take the stage


Erika Roedl, Features Editor

This article was published in the Southerner spring news magazine.

Elicia Dewhirst is a freshman who likes acting with a sarcastic persona and hopes to play mostly comedic roles. She also has an interest in behind-the-scenes work, as well as directing someday. One thing she likes about acting is that after the show, “It feels good to be complimented, having done it all right,” said Dewhirst.

Dewhirst hasn’t had a chance to act in one of South’s productions yet, but she worked on the set for Zombie Hamlet earlier this year. Dewhirst said she started considering acting as a career path in part because her dad always jokes, “you should be an actress someday because you over-dramatize everything.”

Her first role in kindergarten was Bob the Builder, and her most recent one was Snoopy in ‘You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown’ last year at her middle school, Ramsey School of Fine Arts, in which she had to sing over the microphone since it wasn’t working. Dewhirst’s favorite thing about acting is that “you get to do different things that most people don’t know about,” she said.

To deal with stage fright, Dewhirst listens to music through her headphone back stage and she tries “picturing the crowd in their underwear, even though it’s really old,” she said.

Sophomore Ryan Wiskerschen is an actor at South who loves meeting new people. He got involved in theatre right away freshman year because he knew “it’s a great way to meet people,” he said. The downside to theatre, Wiskerschen said, is that it can be straining on one’s social life.

At South, Wiskerschen has been in the productions Our Town, Urine Town, Of Mice and Men, Zombie Hamlet, and last year’s One Acts. He hopes to continue acting in some form as a career, whether it be movies, the stage or cartoon voices.

Besides meeting new people, Wiskerchen also loves “working to create something we can all be proud of.” He gets over stage fright by going over his lines as much as he can, and advised that “if you act confident, the audience doesn’t even find out [that you messed up].”

Wiskerschen got into acting with the organization Kids on Broadway in elementary school, non-profit that introduces kids in grades 3-5 to musicals. Although his first show was “nerve-racking,” said Wiskerschen, he learned to handle pressure and called it “a great experience … on opening night, the curtain went up,and everyone’s attention was on me. It made me feel wonderful.”

Kate Bussert is a junior who loves dramas and Shakespeare’s plays, and wishes she could sing well enough to be a musical actress. If you’ve seen South’s Much Ado About Nothing, Urine Town, Our Town, Of Mice and Men, Zombie Hamlet, 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress, or the One Acts of last year or the year before, you’ve seen Bussert act.

Her first ever production was The Little Mermaid at a summer camp with the Youth Performance Company when she was 9 years old, where everyone else was older and she couldn’t see clearly because she hadn’t gotten glasses yet. Still, she described the experience as “fun and exciting.”

Because Bussert played competitive piano when she was younger and been on stage so much, she claimed that she doesn’t get stage fright anymore. Instead, she worries more about “messing it up for everyone else.” To prevent this she practices her lines over and over.

While Bussert admitted that it is difficult to get all her homework done during tech and show weeks, the main reason Bussert loves acting and theatre is that “there’s always something new to explore, never old stuff, about yourself.”

Lisa Wasiloski is senior and a musical actress who has been in four South productions: Cabaret, Urinetown, Guys and Dolls, and Musical Comedy murders of the 1940’s. She wants to have a career as a musical actress because “it’s something that I really love to do,” she said.

In her first show was The Suessical, at Anwatin Middle School with Project Success. Wasiloski got a lead, and did two more shows in middle school, Little Shop of Horrors and The Wiz “It was a lot of fun,” she said, “you get into that mindset.”

Though her first time performing was in 6th grade, Wasiloski said she had “always been exposed,” since her father works at the Orpheum theatre. She said she doesn’t really get nervous, but if she did said her dad advised her to “look at the exit signs.”

Wasiloski loves acting because it “lets me show more of myself, and allows me to express myself.” She is applying to the University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Wisonsin Stevenspoint, and Minnesota State University Mankato for college to pursue her career in theatre.