Westview Theatre Company hosts Bound for Broadway, reunites with the stage

Katie Lew, Photo Editor

The Westview Theatre Company puts on Bound for Broadway, a production akin to a talent show, every year. This year, the show took place outside in the amphitheater, Aug. 26. Any member of the theatre company may audition to be a part of the showcase, performing any song and dance they choose. 

For Kendall Ratcliff (9), though she has had experience in other performances, it was her first show with the Westview Theatre Company. Despite only having one day to rehearse on stage, she said the experience was exhilarating.

“I was finally looking out at a real live audience again,” Ratcliff said. “The idea of having to perform for a screen just feels fake, almost. Being back means that it’s not fake anymore, that you can hear the applause, you can see people clapping for you. That’s a feeling that you don’t experience over a computer.”

Because the company has had experience with putting on shows such as The Craving, Wild Wild Westview, and Freaky Friday, in accordance with health and safety guidelines, the tech crew had minimal problems preparing for the production in the amphitheater outside.

“It took us a little longer to get the hang of setting up the show,” Talia Sinder (12) said. “It was a little more stressful but we basically performed outside the entire year [last year], except the last two shows, so we got back into the swing of it pretty fast.”

Even though Cassandra Nguyen (12) has been with the company since her freshman year and has performed under normal circumstances, she said her performance was a new endeavor. 

“Honestly, [my performance was] liberating,” Nguyen said. “Even though I have a lot of experience with improv and acting on stage, I have never done a solo on stage, singing. The most singing I’ve done on stage is maybe a line or two so it was definitely a new experience, but it was a way for me to break out of my shell and make the best out of what little time I have with the company left. I wanted to try a little bit of every experience and this was definitely a step in that direction.”

Many of the members in the company agreed that they all missed the immersive aspect of putting on shows inside the theater, in both technical and performance aspects. 

“It felt like being inside has more magic to it, in a way,” Katie Cockerham (11) said. “You don’t see the behind the scenes as much [inside] while outside; you are really limited. As someone who does set mostly, we like to have stuff that can stay off stage and put them out when needed but it is a lot harder to do outside. I feel like being able to see all the stuff going to and from backstage can ruin the experience.”

Cockerham said that from a technical standpoint, outside shows dull the experience for the audience. Dually, from the perspective of a performer, Nguyen said she agrees.

“Typically, we would start during daylight [for shows outside] because then the sun won’t set until later and so it feels as though we are rehearsing,” Nguyen said. “But when you are in a theater, no matter what time it is, the lights are still regulated the same so it feels more daunting and weighted when you are in the theater. It feels more intense, like you are actually on a stage, truly performing for an audience.”

Along with hopes of performing inside the theater this upcoming year, Ratcliff said she is excited to establish and build connections with the other members.

“Meeting them for the first time and seeing their true personalities behind their roles was fun,” Ratcliff said. “I think I’m going to have a great few years in Westview Theatre.”