Junior Thespian Troupe
at West Salem High School
Registration Between 9:30am-10:00am
So many fun activities that will broaden theater student's horizons! This is a fun conference with acting seminars, exploration of technical theater, new experiences, and new friends! Dip your toes into the vast West Salem theater program!
Meet our "Man in Chair"
Name: Jacob Hodges
West Salem High School Senior
What are you looking forward to the most with this show?
I am most looking forward to getting to bring this amazing show to life and making connections with all of the amazing people in the theater department. Theater at West is so special because everyone is alway so nice and supportive that it makes the area a safe space that’s fun to be around!
Difficult as it may be, what is your favorite play and favorite musical?
This is definitely a very difficult question. It changes often, however my favorite musical right now would have to be “Company” by Stephen Sondheim. I think the music is truly magical and the story has proven to last decades and still remain relevant. My favorite play is probably “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” I know it’s a more contemporary play but the staging and stage magic they incorporated is really crazy.
Who are your theater inspirations?
I have so many theater inspirations. Of course, Ms. Sabine at West has been a huge influence for me. She has shown me many ways that theater can positively impact someone’s life, whether that’s literally or mentally. Some of my other theater inspirations are definitely Stephen Sondheim and Patti LuPone. Sondheim’s musicals are so deep and thoughtful that they convey messages and themes that just words alone cannot. Meanwhile, Patti LuPone’s acting techniques and dedication to her craft have always been what I’ve striven to have as well. Not to mention that she stands up for what she believes in and that she also exudes confidence.
There is a lot of tap dancing in this show, have you ever tap danced before? What is your favorite type of dance?
I have not done a ton of tap dancing before, however I did do a tap routine a few months ago for a musical showcase. That was my first experience with tapping, and I had so much fun with it! Tap dancing is probably also my favorite type of dance. I think that when it’s done well it’s really impressive and is something that not a lot of people can do.
You are one of the Seniors in the show, do you have goals/plans after high school?
It’s crazy that I’m already a Senior! It feels like high school has just flown by. After high school, I definitely would like to go to college to study acting and theater if possible. I know that theater is a very competitive industry, however I’ve never found another activity or hobby that’s been as fulfilling and fun as the theater.
Why do you love acting?
I love acting because it gives me a chance to see the world through someone else’s point of view, while also hopefully allowing me to inform the audience of how other people live and experience things. I tend to get caught up in whatever show I'm doing or whatever classes I’m taking, so being given the chance to broaden my scope of things and dive into a character is truly a blessing. I think that when you can see the world through a different lens, you can be a more empathetic and hopefully a better human being.
If you could hop on a plane tomorrow and go anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you do?
If I could hop on a plane tomorrow and go anywhere in the world, I would go to New York City (Manhattan specifically). My dream is to be in New York and see as many Broadway shows as possible. To me, a theater is a very sacred space, and so being in the Broadway houses that have so much history behind them is really amazing! Also, I think that seeing live musicals is all-around good for the soul.
What are 3 pieces of advice you would give the younger students that are interested in theatre?
Three pieces of advice that I would give to some of the younger students who are interested in theater would be to work hard, take theater classes, and to be nice to people. Theater in general is a very demanding and challenging art form, and so hard work is very important if you want to be a productive member of the theater. Also, taking theater classes can expose you to lots of new work, experiences, and people. It’s never bad to know a lot of people who support and believe in you. Lastly, nobody wants to work with someone who is rude or overbearing, so I think being nice and easy-going is a very valuable trait!