Olivia Allen: A Theatrical Journey
Dancing from the Stage to the Page.
At age five, standing in front of an audience young Olivia Allen couldn’t see much beyond the blinding stage lights. She definitely couldn’t see her future waiting for her in the distance, which would prove to much brighter than the overhead lights before her. Doing small community shows as a child, she eventually began to wean away from signing and primarily focus herself on dancing. Ultimately leading to a pause in her theater journey.
If it wasn’t for her chemistry teacher, Mr. Armstrong, who knows how long that pause would have lasted. Armstrong also the schools play director, came to her and asked her to try out as a dancer. She came swinging back into her place on center stage as a dancer in the musical Kiss Me Kate. Allen recalls with a smile, “The play was very popular in its time, but the dancing was very old timey.” It wasn’t long until Armstrong needed more actors. With show choir season in full swing the cast list was destitute and Allen was once again prompted the try out. She states, “We felt bad because we knew they didn’t have a cast; we knew we would get a part.” As something that Allen states as “being thrown into,” she can not deny her love for theater art.
Allen repeats the common saying, “A bad dress rehearsal means a great opening night,” she follows with a giggle, “I can prove that to be true.” While acting on the Thespian play, Barbecuing Hamlet, Allen warms up for her dress rehearsal night. Her role in the script is vital the to story and pushes the play in a pivotal direction. She clutches a prop in her hand, which just so happens to be a clipboard. Despite the weeks of rehearsal, the lines completely slips her mind. The next night she must be better. She studies her lines that night more than she ever had before. On her clipboard she writes her line ques, determined to make this a good show. And a good show it was, her contagious smiles spreads across her face as she repeats, “That was the best opening night ever.” Her determination payed off.
Now more excited than ever she awaits her newest role in the nest upcoming musical Mamma Mia. She describes what the most exciting part of the new play will be, she beams, “to watch the dance style change from a set time period to more playful, its creative.” It’s the creativity that brought Allen to where she is now. From dancing and theater at a young age, the left side of Allen’s brain seems to sizable in comparison to the right, as she admits that school doesn’t always come easy, “Especially math.”
Olivia, as an upcoming senior at Martinsville High School, is moving into her position as design editor for her schools yearbook. “ The creativity that can be argued in the English and science can also be argued in yearbook and theater”, she smiles. From thirteen years of dancing and six years of yearbook, commitment and hard work is very important to Allen. “Creativity and hard work pay off,” she finishes.