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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

New York state of mind

Breakout stars get their chance in the spotlight
Juniors Natalie Kersten and Brykin Jones perform “Love is an Open Door.” Both Kersten and Jones performed various songs and dances together throughout the two-and-a-half-hour production. “Both Jones and I had some of the biggest parts of the musical,” Kersten said. “Getting to perform throughout the whole play was very exciting for us.”

After getting their big break in a rendition of “Frozen,” the Broadway musical, juniors Natalie Kersten, Brykin Jones and Sophia Bartlet have the chance to shine on a stage larger than a high school auditorium. Following the production’s three shows, this trio was beloved by the audience as they reimagined Hans, Anna and Elsa; fictional characters in Disney’s “Frozen.”

Originally, each school participating in the United States of “Frozen” contest had the opportunity to send in a video explaining why they should be the only school in their state to get the rights to the musical. Each school participating in the contest also recieved the chance to send one representative to sing in a chorus on Good Morning America. Following the success of the musical, not one but three students were chosen amid the handful of other talent alongside them. 

Students heading to New York will be leaving on Nov. 26, performing on Nov 27, and coming home on Nov. 28. Although the trip is rather short, students will be singing a version of “Let It Go” alongside the 2023 Jimmy award winner, Lauren Marchand. Preparing for the musical ahead of time gave an advantage to the performers.

Junior Sophia Bartlet and senior Nina Mills perform together on stage. Bartlet, being a buddy, helps Mills with singing, dancing and getting her to where she needs to be on stage efficiently and on time throughout the musical. “In the musical I back-up sing for Elsa,” Bartlet said. “I do this mostly to help with vocals but also to make sure everything is going smoothly.” (Makayla Potter)

“It feels great to be chosen to go to New York,” Jones said. “We’ve all put so much hard work into the performance, and getting to spread “Frozen” across America is going to mean a lot to everyone in the play. Our performance is in Times Square, and all three of us have had Zoom rehearsals beforehand to save time in New York.”

Not knowing if Kersten would be able to attend the trip to New York, her own family and friends set up fundraisers and gave donations in hopes of launching her stardom to the next level. 

“My mother set up the GoFundMe because the trip is very expensive,” Kersten said. “After 39 donations and a $2,500 goal met, both my mother and I get to experience something special together. Being able to work with ACP students and form friendships with them has been such a rewarding experience, and I need to share that across the country.”

Coming from the drama department, their art may not be recognized as often as an athlete, scholar student or a student in the band. Since “Frozen” was such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the high school stage, coverings of this story by various news outlets gave the department a chance to shine like never before, opening possible jobs for the future.

I am absolutely thrilled for any opportunities my students have to showcase their talents and make life-long connections,” drama teacher Brooke Phillips said. “Networking is a gigantic part of a career in the arts, and this is one small step in the right direction for these three students and hopefully others later on.”

This particular “Frozen”-frenzy had a great impact on high school students, the community and individuals with special needs. The planning behind such a special performance brought inclusivity inside the high school walls and created windows of opportunity for many students with undeniable talent. 

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About the Contributors
Nathan Buroker
Nathan Buroker, Staff Reporter
Nate is a senior and this is his second year on the CATalyst staff. In class, he enjoys writing reviews on new entertainment and doing broadcasts on school related events. Outside of school, Nate enjoys spending time with his friends, trying new restaurants, and working.
Makayla Potter
Makayla Potter, Staff Reporter
Makayla Potter is a senior at Millard West, this will be her first year on staff as a broadcaster but will be her second year on the Yearbook staff. Makayla was a Sports Editor for the 2022-23 Prowler where she found a passion for photography and learned all about the different types of activities Millard West has to offer. During the summer she spent lots of time with her peers and applied for several 4 year universities where she hopes to study for a career in either Sports and Entertainment Marketing or becoming a part of the journalism world beyond high school. This year Makayla hopes to further her knowledge in all things that media and journalism has to offer.

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