Student Spotlight: Kennedy Brown

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Betsy Wait

During her final dress rehearsal, freshmen Kennedy Brown strolls downstage appreciating the beauty of the forest.

When student director Sidney Baker called asking freshmen Kennedy Brown if she would accept the lead of Snow White, heart racing and head reeling, her answer was an enthusiastic “Yes!”

“By the end of Sidney’s message I was freaking out! I really wasn’t expecting being cast as Snow White because they were so many upperclassmen who auditioned, so it was such a crazy thing to hear,” Brown said.

New to the high school theatre community, Brown will be portraying Snow White in the children’s theatre production of “The Tale of Snow White” Nov. 7 and 8. However, Brown has had plenty of prior experience with theatre performances.

“In 3rd grade at Henry, I was casted as Sally Ride in the musical “Spaced Out” which was the first time I had ever acted and ever since then I’ve been really interested in theatre. Since then I have been Violet in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and I participated in all of the middle school plays and musicals, like “Fairy Tale Courtroom” and “The Music Man.” My favorite performance was definitely “Annie” last year when I was Grace Farrell. I know “Snow White” is going to be another favorite of mine!” Brown said.

Brown discovered through her participation in “Snow White” that high school theatre greatly differs from any productions she has been a part of before.

“In high school theatre everyone always tries their hardest 100% of the time. I love it because at rehearsals no one slacks off, which makes it a great community to be a part of,” Brown said.

I think I’m similar to Snow White because we both try to think before we speak and just be nice to others whenever we can.”

— Kennedy Brown

“Snow White” rehearsals entailed of hours of hard work and dedication from cast and crew members alike.

“Tech Week, the week right before show, has definitely been the most stressful part of the play. We start working on all of the little details that keep a show running smoothly- costumes, lighting, and scene transitions,” Brown said. “On Tuesday, when everyone else was off of school, we [the cast] had a 6 hour rehearsal! It was tiring but I know our commitment will pay off for the show.”

Not only have the cast and crew worked to make “Snow White” a quality production, but their re-telling of the timeless princess classic takes on a non traditional twist.

“We tried to make the show as original as we possibly could. For instance, I don’t wear the cliché Disney Snow White dress. Instead I wear a huge, poofy wedding dress! Also, our color scheme is black, white, gray and hints of red. We are trying to make it as modern and original as we can without it becoming a cookie-cutter copy of Disney’s version,” Brown said.

Another unique aspect of West’s adaptation of “Snow White” is the entirely digital backdrops used in the set.

“Instead of actually constructing a set, we are using a gigantic drop down screen that projects various backdrops, like the castle or the forest,” Brown said.

The hours put forth into the production have not only lead to a quality play, but were also memorable hours of cast bonding for Brown.

“A lot of the upperclassmen have really taken me under their wing,” Brown said. They are super supportive of me, and they give me awesome feedback on what I do well and what I can improve on. They honestly have become my second family- we have just gone through so much together.”

For Brown, besides making new friends through productions, the most meaningful part of theatre is finding herself by pretending to be another.

“Of course, my goal is to someday make it big in the world of acting, and who knows if I’ll ever make it, but my joy in acting is pretending to be someone I’m not for a day. It’s a really cool experience because I often portray characters that are similar to people I actually know. Because of that I can walk in another’s shoes and better understand them. And because of that I better know myself,” Brown said.

Brown’s current role of Snow White has taught the rising actress a thing or two about herself.

“Snow White is just a young, innocent girl looking for love. She tries her best to love everybody and all she really wants is to feel loved in return. I think I’m similar to Snow White because we both try to think before we speak and just be nice to others whenever we can,” Brown said. “We are different in that she is not afraid to talk to strangers- I don’t think I would ever take an apple from a wrinkly, old witch!”