Written by: Alex Lake
In the land of Iowa portrayed on stage, theatre looks to cast a new face, a new lead. Auditions were held January 3rd and 4th where a new actor took his shot. Sam Arnold, senior at SHS, was cast the role of “father” by play director, Dalton Pittenger.
Sam Arnold had only been in theatre for one semester by the time of auditions, so Sam was not expecting to land this role. In fact, Arnold had only finalized his decision to audition for the play the night before auditions.
“One day,” Arnold said, “I was with my friends and I thought ‘hey, [the play] would be kinda fun to do,’ so I did it. I took theater this year, and I really liked Mr. Pittenger. He seemed like a nice guy and a good teacher. So when he said ‘I’d love to see you all at auditions’, I was like okay, I’m up for the challenge.”
At the auditions Arnold gave it his all, hoping to impress the play director. In the end, Arnold showed his talent and commitment to the play, landing the role of “father”.
“At the audition, I was going all in,” said Arnold. “I was taking it seriously when I got there but I hadn’t really thought of it beforehand. But I was still very shocked that I got it.”
Dalton Pittenger, play director, saw great potential in Sam. Pittenger described how Arnold was always a helping hand and never held back.
“He is just a really good role model, and a really good upperclassman,” Pittenger said. “I really appreciate having him, with his willingness to jump in and try new things. I guess I didn’t really forecast in what capacity that would be but I certainly wanted him to audition for the show.”
Although this was Arnold’s first year in theatre throughout his whole high school career, Sam entered the program with a family lineage of theatre experience. Sam’s sister, Jessica Arnold, is the only Blue Star theater award recipient in all of Smithville history.
“ My sister, Jessica Arnold, has literally been an actor her entire life,” said Sam. “She even went to college to be a musical theatre major. I never really considered doing it, but now that I am, I really wish I had done it earlier and kept with it.”
The Spring play is called “Leaving Iowa.” The leads in the play are Nevin Voth, Sam Arnold, Katie Kaminski, Ava Johnson. As the play gets closer, Sam Arnold becomes more eager for opening night, his big debut.
“I’ve spent numerous hours memorizing lines. When I landed the role I pretty much told my friends as soon as I found out so, you know I’m gonna be very happy, they said they were gonna have posters for me,” said Arnold. “I’m really looking forward to that.”
Leaving Iowa will be showing at SHS in the Performing Arts Center Thursday, Feb 28 through Saturday, March 2. Tickets will be available for purchase upon entry.