Hartland High School senior Jenna Waller knows theatergoers’ experiences begin long before they take their seats. As head of the Drama Club’s House Crew, she helps audiences feel welcome and immersed in a production as soon as they walk through the doors — and Hartland’s “The Music Man” will be no exception.
Waller, the daughter of Tracy and Scott Waller and sibling to younger brother Jace, joined House Crew last fall and, along with co-head Sydni Jacobs, began training to be crew head by the second semester of her junior year. Her responsibilities include planning a design for the lobby, and she says she’s always amazed and proud to see it come together.
“House Crew has some pretty ambitious plans for this show,” she said. “The lobby will be fully interactive, with carnival games and such — all deigned to look as though the fabulous [“Music Man” character] Eulalie Shinn had set it up herself!”
In addition to serving on House Crew, Waller will also appear on stage as part of the Pick-A-Little Chorus. She says the cast has been working hard to beat audience expectations and that the classic musical shows people should not be judged based on their appearances. “I hope audiences see that and consider it, too.”
Waller, who is also involved in HHS’s Con Espiritu and Varsity Choirs, credits Drama Club for making her “a better person surrounded by better people.” After graduation, she plans to attend Central Michigan University to study psychology and criminology. She aspires to work as a forensic psychologist for the state or federal government.
As she looks toward her future, Waller strives to stay optimistic about life, recalling a quote from “Ice Age” character Sid, the sloth: “Even if things look bad, there’s a rainbow around every corner!”
The Hartland Drama Club Troupe #4213 is presenting Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27; at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, and Saturday, May 4; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $13 for seniors and students, and available for purchase at www.hartlanddramaclub.weebly.com. For every ticket sold for the Thursday, May 2, performance, $1 will be donated to the Humane Society of Livingston County. All performances will be held at Hartland High School, 10635 Dunham Road, Hartland.