A thespian like no other

One student carries the weight of an international title


Photo Courtesy of Ally Fortney

Performing “Disney’s Descendants: the Musical” junior Sadie Kottich and her fellow cast members gather around the auditorium’s center stage to begin their performance. After spending weeks preparing, they were reading now more than ever for their moment of showtime. “Getting to perform on stage is truly an unforgettable expierence,” Kottich said. “After getting past the nerves, I was really just excited for everybody to see what we worked so hard on.”

Quinn Burton, Staff Reporter

For the average person, standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people can be unsettling, but for junior Sadie Kottich, it comes naturally.  As a student in the theater department, Kottich dedicated herself to the performing arts earning her the title of “International Thespian Leader.”

Ever since Kottich was young all she could remember was singing and dancing with her friends and listening to “Wicked” songs in the car with her grandma. In an attempt to continue her interests, Kottich joined the drama department during her freshman year, which opened a wide variety of opportunities to test her theater abilities. Throughout her time in the drama department, Kottich has continuously put an effort into her work; however, it wasn’t until her junior year that she was truly recognized for it. 

After seeing Kottich develop her talents, drama director Brooke Philips sought after her for the position of “International Thespian Leader.” The International Thespian Society is an honor society dedicated to high school and middle school theater students. The title is awarded to a handful of students who demonstrate leadership in the theater community.  Despite the hundreds of students throughout the nation who submitted their applications for the title, Kottich was the one who took it home. As an International Thespian Leader, Kottich represents the student voice of the International Thespian Society at the national level, whilst working alongside high school theater participants across the globe with the hopes to nurture strong student leaders, fundraise for accessibility and create the best experience possible for students.

“As the International thespian leader, I get to do things I never imagined,” Kottich said. “I get to meet lots of new people from around the world and talk to them about what they do in their theaters, and I also get to help organize the International Thespian Festival and advocate for the arts. It’s truly a dream getting to do what I love while exploring my passion.”

With her newfound title, Kottich is able to see the world of theater from not just her eyes, but from other students’ perspectives. On a monthly basis, Kottich meets with a few other leaders in the society to speak on issues experienced by schools and funding for theater programs. These students have personally made it their mission to solve issues that had previously been beyond their reach. Thanks to the help of their theater directors these students have exemplified what a true role model is. However, for Kottich, her director has personally helped her with the highs and lows of being a student in the drama department.

“I feel like I’ve really seen Sadie come out of her shell this last year,” Philips said. “It felt like maybe she was riding on the coattails of her older sister who was really successful in theater, but as soon as her sister graduated I felt like Sadie became more confident in just being herself. This newfound confidence has really allowed her to take on more leadership responsibilities.”

As a leader, Kottich has personally learned about other theaters far beyond Millard West’s drama department, which has allowed her to find inspiration from other schools and learn more about being a thespian. Kottich’s advanced knowledge of theater has truly caused other students to look up to her as a role model.

“Our theater troupe is really a tight-knit group of people,” sophomore Madison Bosley said. “The healthy environment in the drama department has really allowed me to form a connection with several students, including Sadie. Just by getting to talk to her on a daily basis, I have already learned so much from her experience and talent. Almost every day I learn more and more about how to be an incredible thespian.”

Not only has the title of “International Thespian Leader” boosted Kottich’s confidence, but in turn, it has also benefited the liveliness of the drama department. As the years go past, Kottich’s legacy will be remembered as one of the greatest thespians that has graced the hallways of Millard West’s drama department.