Student Spotlight: two star in production of “gypsy”

St. Barnabas students are known for their spectacular performances in the local Athens Theatre productions. Kaitlin and Stephen Brandt are no exception to this fact. Their latest roles in the popular musical “Gypsy”, follows the “ultimate show business mother” and her dreams and efforts to raise two daughters to perform onstage. It also casts light on the hardships of show business life, sprinkled with captivating numbers such as the famous “Everything’s Coming up Roses.” Our very own Kaitlin and Stephen Brandt played Baby June, a lead role, and a newsboy/cub scout, respectively.
Running successfully for nineteen shows, the production received many positive reviews from audience members. Of course this wouldn’t have been possible without what Kaitlin describes as “the nicest, funniest, and most talented cast.” Not only did they perform, but also all of the cast and crew had to help with costume changes and moving set pieces around to put on a smooth show. In fact, once she was finished onstage, Kaitlin had to move set pieces before she could go back to the dressing room and relax. Even with the stress of performing, her favorite part of the process was meeting and interacting with the other cast members, saying, “We always had so much fun backstage, and sometimes I would have to hold back my laughter onstage!”

However, the Brandts are no strangers to the stage. Stephen decided to try acting by auditioning for his first play, “Beauty and the Beast”, after his sisters convinced him of how much fun he would have. He recalls that “I surprised myself with how much I liked to act, sing, and dance on stage because I usually just play sports.” After that the rest is history, as he proceeded to audition for “Gypsy” and received his most recent role in The Little Theatre’s production of “Willy Wonka” as Mike Teavee. Coming to theatres later in the summer at their New Smyrna location, Stephen is beyond excited as his character has many hilarious lines and his very own song in the play.

For Kaitlin, “Gypsy” was her seventh play at the Athens over the past couple of years. Acting has always been a passion of hers ever since her first Broadway play at five, and she’s been performing ever since then. At six she began acting lessons and realized how it was always so much fun to pretend like she was someone else. At age ten she auditioned for her first role, and snagged the part of Cosette in her first play, “Les Miserable.” She will continue on her journey of acting this summer at New York City’s Actor’s Connection Performing Arts Camp. Within this program, she received a scholarship based on her past work and actor’s reel.

We are so proud of our thespians Kaitlin and Stephen Brandt for their success in the arts and performances at the Athens Theatre. To put on nineteen shows, you have to be dedicated and motivated, just like all our students here at St. Barnabas. Summed up best by Stephen, “The hours were long during ‘Gypsy’ and I got home at 11:30 every night, but it was worth every minute of it!” Congratulations again to the Kaitlin and Stephen Brandt on their performances in “Gypsy.”
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