CAMDEN—The day I met 17-year-old Isabelle Olson, she was soft spoken, apologizing for her voice, because she was fighting a cold. That’s generally not a problem when you’re a senior in high school and just have to get through the school day. But, Isabelle is one of the lead actors in the CHRHS play Anything Goes, staged at the Strom Auditorium—and a strained voice is not ideal when you’re singing soprano.
However, she’s already a professional and knows the show must go on.
A full day of schoolwork and nightly rehearsals aren’t her only challenge. Isabelle lives on Islesboro and in order to participate in theater, she must travel back and forth on the ferry and stay at a family’s friends, going home to see her family on the weekends.
“The ferry leaves at 5 p.m. so when we have rehearsals later than five, which has basically been the last two weeks, I stay on the mainland,” she said.
“I live out of my duffle bag,” she said. “I’m in a limbo between two families, so I just try to self-parent. Some days I’m here when school starts to 10 at night. I’m always really excited to go home, but during the week, I don’t even have time to be homesick.”
This is Isabelle’s fourth year in theater and she not only has moved from ensemble to lead roles, she has just been named “Student of the Month” from the CHRHS Visual and Performing Arts Department, which stated, “[Isabelle] shows her love of the arts by going the extra mile to be involved at CHRHS: traveling across the bay each week to get to Camden Hills, and hosting fundraising concerts ...”
“I’m the kind of person who needs at least three hours of silence after a show wraps,” she said. “I’m both an introvert and an extrovert. You need to be an introvert to get into a character’s emotions and feeling and you need to be an extrovert to convey that to the audience, but, I have to decompress after.”
Anything Goes is on its last run this weekend. Details can be found in our Weekend Spotlight. Additional photography provided by www.martistonephotography.com
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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