By Bree Dunckhorst Posted: June 4, 2020
This year’s Performer of the Year is Briana Roederer. Briana has been doing drama for three years and is a senior this year. Her love for this hobby began in her elementary school years and she continued this passion into her senior year of high school.
Briana was very inspired and looked up to Mrs. Corrine James as a director.
Roederer said, “When I reached my freshman year of high school after having Mrs. James as my English teacher I was so inspired to work under her directorial influence that I had put everything into my audition.”
Roederer has many things she was very talented at in drama, but she also had new challenges as well.
“I definitely experienced some challenges throughout the years, one of the biggest challenges was being afraid to be accepted by my new classmates each year,” said Roederer.
Briana pushed through these challenges headfirst and took on whatever was thrown at her knowing that someday she could help someone who struggled with these things in their lives as well.
Roederer enjoyed being able to sway people’s emotions while she performed and seeing the results of all the hard work the class put into the plays.
“I loved being able to look back at a children’s play performance and to be able to hear the children laugh and the adults do the same or react as we conveyed the emotions of the plays,” said Roederer.
Briana loved how accepting and welcoming the drama class was. She always knew she could be herself and it helped her to grow into a compassionate, more understanding person. The class was her safe place.
Some classes can be very challenging and stressful, but for the drama class, Briana found a sense of simplicity that came along with it.
“The easiest part was accepting a role that you are given, taking the part you knew what you were getting into but then comes the challenge,” said Briana.
Every actor approaches their roles and learns them in different ways, for Briana it was becoming one with her character while performing and stepping out of her comfort zone that helped the most.
“I found that you have to really put yourself into the character’s shoes and understand how they will react and respond to the situation,” said Briana.
There are two people that have affected Briana’s life forever, her mom and James.
“These two women are substantial people in my life who have taught me how to be compassionate and patient,” said Roederer. “They are the real mom and school mom I will never want to forget and I could never be more thankful for everything they have done for me.”
The part Roederer will miss most about Mrs. James’ class is not being part of the family they created amongst themselves anymore.
“I will miss coming into the room and being greeted by everyone’s smiling faces,” said Roederer. “The drama students have been my family for the last three years and I’m so sad to not be able to be a part of their experience anymore in the class.”
Mrs. James has taught Briana many lessons over the years, but there is one lesson that she was taught that has been unforgettable.
“Mrs. James has taught me to never take anything for granted and to seize every opportunity,” said Roederer.
The biggest and most special memory she made this year was with her newfound family.
“On the last night of ‘Aladdin’ we were all so upset that it was over and we wanted the play to last longer,” said Roederer.
“When we finished reminiscing about how it was over we all decided to take pictures and we all embraced each other like a true family.”
After high school, Briana is going to attend UNR to receive her Master’s degree in Social Work and to minor in theatre. She hopes to one day come back and watch Lowry’s plays to get an overwhelming rush of nostalgia from the place where it all began.