Brianna Kirsch, who is a junior here at Freehold Township High School, is especially talented with performing arts and drama. She is a member of the FTHS Drama Club, Patriots Productions, and is greatly appreciated by her fellow peers and teachers! Her talent shines so bright when she is on stage, along with her amazing senses of leadership, dedication, and initiative. After spending just a short amount of time with the students and staff of Patriot Productions, she quickly took a significant role in their group. One of Brianna’s biggest accomplishments while involved in the performing arts and drama program was taking part as both a stage and auditions manager in their virtual play, #ENOUGH. Brianna also took responsibility in spreading plenty of awareness and information about their work, encouraging their audience to donate to the Fulfill Food Bank. Overall, Brianna Kirsch has already done so many awesome things, not only for her fellow members of Patriot Productions, but for the rest of her community, through entertainment and gracious donations. In this interview, you will hear even more about Brianna’s experiences as a FTHS Drama Club member, as well as her journey to this passion of performance.
Read the full interview below:
Grace Lorenzo: My first question is if you could be in one Broadway play, which would you choose, which character, and why?
Brianna Kirsch: This is a good question, because this was actually my first drama experience I’ve ever had.
GL: Oh, wow!
BK: It was definitely something very new to me. So, I’m not that familiar with Broadway, but I know that I definitely would want to be in The Lion King, because my grandpa has watched that, and ever since I was young, The Lion King is something that I’ve always been interested in, along with Disney. So, I would definitely want to be in The Lion King.
GL: I feel like those kinds of family traditions are always fun to continue and to remember as you get older, so that would be a great way to hold onto a piece of your childhood and your family. My next question is what inspired you and everyone in Patriot Productions to do a virtual play this year, and what was the message of #ENOUGH?
BK: #ENOUGH was a nationwide reading of year long theatre activism, and basically these were 10 minute plays about gun violence. I think activism about gun violence is something very important because it is a prevalent theme in our society today. Obviously I wanted to be a part of such a good cause.
GL: I think that’s really awesome that you guys were able to spread that much awareness about gun violence in such an intriguing way, like a play. I feel like that interested a lot of people to learn more about the cause that Patriot Productions is supporting.
BK: Yes, especially online too, because online it’s so different in the theatre world!
GL: To add onto the previous question, you were chosen for December Student of the Month for your leadership, dedication, and initiative, especially with running all of the auditions and becoming a stage manager for the virtual play. My question is what did you enjoy most about this experience, and, if anything, what was the most stressful?
BK: I enjoyed meeting everyone, and I felt like the play was such a welcoming environment. It was a new experience, too, especially getting to know everybody virtually. I was working with Mrs. Richardson and Ms. Robbins, and they were so understanding and really taught me how to do all of the work for the play. I think the most stressful part was reading the stage lines, since that was a part of my job. When I was first joining I didn’t even know what a stage line was! So I think learning everything and educating myself was definitely a stressful part.
GL: Yes, I’m sure trying to get into the routine of running the play must’ve been a challenge! Were all of the auditions online?
BK: Yes, the auditions were online.
GL: I’m sure setting up all of the virtual auditions was really hectic, as well as reading the stage lines, like you said.
BK: Yes, definitely.
GL: It’s good that, overall, it was a fun and positive experience. I think we can all agree that these past few months have been really tough with the pandemic and everything that has happened in 2020! Between juggling your roles in Patriot Productions, your social life, and your academic life, I’m sure there’s been some times when you’ve felt overwhelmed. So, the question I had was what is your favorite way to relieve stress during this time and the advice you’d give to help others relieve stress?
BK: I definitely agree with all of the stress, and I’m a student too, so I definitely have a lot of workload. I think just being in the moment and trying not to think too much about the future or the past really helps to relieve stress, because, inevitably, life is so stressful. So, you just have to take things one step at a time.
GL: Yes, I definitely agree with that advice, because these past few months have been a blur for everyone. It’s kind of just the same days over and over! So, being in the moment really helps you to realize what’s truly important and to get through those really tough days.
BK: And know you’re not alone, too, and that everyone is here for everyone.
GL: I’m sure being involved in the play has also taught you that everyone is always here for each other and that you’re all pushing through these times as a big group. My next question is, when you reached out to local politicians and the Central Office about the virtual play, also encouraging them to donate to the Fulfill Food Bank, was there an overall positive response? Were there any responses to the play that you and Patriot Productions were really excited to hear?
BK: There definitely was! We had to email a lot of people to advocate the play, so we got some donations, and a lot of people responded back saying, “Thank you for putting on this show, because it had such a big impact.” I think it’s important that these people saw our play because it allowed for more awareness to the community about gun violence, and played such an important part in advocating our cause.
GL: I’m sure it was really cool to see all of your hard work pay off and for everyone to give positive feedback. My next question is, was there anything that you wish you did differently while managing #ENOUGH, and if so, what?
BK: Actually I don’t think so! I feel like I spent a lot of time on it, and I was very dedicated to the play. I had a partner, Morgan O’ Shea, who was also working on it with me, and we were very helpful to each other. So, I think it went perfectly!
GL: It’s really cool that you guys were able to make such a meaningful virtual play in these unprecedented times, what you guys accomplished is really awesome! My last question is, seeing that you have a lot of passion for performing arts, are you going to continue on this road for your future career?
BK: I think this is just something that I want to try and be more involved in, but I don’t think it would be involved in my future career. It’s something so new to me, but I definitely want to keep developing more ideas for future plays and to help Patriot Productions with their performances.
GL: I think all of the skills you’ll learn from this experience, like the leadership and initiative, will really help you along in your future career, regardless of what you choose. Overall, from this interview and from what I read about you, I’m sure you’re very proud of yourself for everything you’ve accomplished, and you should be! Leading this play in a successful direction definitely took a lot of hard work and effort on your part to put this together. I think you’ll have a great future in Patriot Productions and later in life because of how much passion and dedication you put into this project!
BK: Thank you so much!
GL: You’re welcome!
GL: Is there anything else that you’d like to elaborate on or include?
BK: I just wanted to say how nice it was to have everyone work together on something so special, especially with all of the teamwork and everyone being able to come together. That mattered a lot, especially during the online portions.
GL: Thank you so much for taking the time to come to this interview! It really helped me to get more insight on your involvement in Patriot Productions for the article.
BK: Thank you so much for your time!