West Branch Performing Arts Says Goodbye to Seniors After Spring Show

The production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory concludes with many seniors leaving this year.
Cast photo including the five graduating seniors from the performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Cast photo including the five graduating seniors from the performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Image/Graphics by Melissa Wooster

The drama season comes to a close after the end of the performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This year for drama is particularly bittersweet due to the loss of five seniors who were very involved in the program. Seniors Matt Eirich, Madison McDowell, Braeden Salter, Allison Shinglecker, and Alex Wooster are leaving the program after many years of involvement. Senior Matt Eirich states, “It’s sad to leave the program after so many years of putting work into it, but I’m glad to see it’s going in the right direction to be great.” 

Throughout the years, each of these students has contributed to the program in many different meaningful ways. Matt was the president of the drama program while Braeden Salter was the vice president. Alex was the secretary and Madison was the student board representative for the department. Ally decided to come back into the arts after taking a few years away from it. Each of these positions was an important role

Willy Wonka and Charlie Bucket performing “The View from Here.” (Image/Graphics by Addison Collar)
Willy Wonka after one of the golden ticket winners dies off. (Image/Graphics by Addison Collar)
Charlie Bucket and Grandpa Joe are happy to have found a golden ticket! (Image/Graphics by Addison Collar)

that these students took pride in filling. Besides officer positions, these students found other ways to contribute to this program. Madison in particular was one of the student choreographers and helped make the dancing in the show stand out compared to schools around us. She worked hard with Emily Shingledecker, the other student choreographer, and the two non-student choreographers Allie Danko and Carrie Fuller. 

The drama department’s success during this performance is also because of the hard work of the director Lara Sharpless. She helped push forward this program in meaningful ways and allowed the students to thrive on stage. No one member of this program could do all of the work required to put on a show; it only was possible because of the hard work of everyone involved. The attendance at these shows was unlike any other of the recent shows with nearly 300 people showing up to the first performance. 

The program is seemingly going to continue to thrive with the guidance of Lara, Allie, and Carrie to push the students further with even more success!

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