Maxx Johnson is an eleventh grade student at Hobart High School who could be defined by the phrase, “theatre kid.” Maxx has been involved with many productions for years. Maxx started out with theatre by joining an organization called Chicago Street Theatre. When he joined this group of actors and signed up for all their acting and directing classes he not only learned about his passion for the art but made a lifelong family. Maxx started off in acting classes at Chicago Street Theatre when he was 12 years old. He then began auditioning for everything he possibly could because he loved it so much.
Maxx’s first involvement with Hobart High School’s performing arts was during his freshman year. He heard about auditions for The Sound of Music the day before and eagerly showed up to his very first audition severely underprepared. Nate Jenkins, an upperclassmen at the time, quickly helped him prepare a song to audition with and Maxx impressed the directors so much that he got a callback as a freshmen. He quickly got cast as the youngest brother in the show and alongside his theatre siblings, made friends with people he could never see himself without.
Slowly but surely Maxx crawled his way up the cast lists and by a sophomore got cast as the Lion in the Wizard of Oz. Although the upcoming months would be full of stress and sleep deprivation for all of the hard work he put into the role, he will quickly be remembered as the best male in a musical by the end of the year. After Wizard of Oz, Maxx got cast in the spring play You Can’t Take it With You. He played a funny xylophone player by the name of Ed and embodied the role with his heart and soul.
The end of the year came along and Maxx Johnson and two other students were running for Theatre President. Although the votes were very close, Maxx ended up winning and excitedly helped implement new rules and activities for the theatre department to help better itself. Besides being in plays and musicals, Maxx is also involved with other theatre related activities. Alongside of Katy Webber, Maxx helped put together a soundtrack and became apart of the theatre talent show act.
Currently Maxx Johnson has took the role of Doolittle upon himself. Doolittle is a supporting character role in the musical My Fair Lady. This is a very tough role for a teenager to portray because the character is not only a 50 year old father figure but he is also a drunk character with a cockney accent. With all of these things that would be hard to portray on their own stacked up together, Maxx is still doing a wonderful job of making this character a fan favorite.
Some advice that Maxx would like to give to all of his fellow thespians is to join theatre no matter if they think they are good enough or not. It is not a matter of getting a main character role or ensemble. Every role is an opportunity to embody another person. Although Macc doesn’t play the main character he is still widely recognizable and is still loved throughout everyone who has watched the show.
￼ Star Teacher
Cathy Nelson is the definition of the word multitasker. For all of the things that she is a part of it seems impossible for her to have enough time to do it all plus have a normal life. Here at Hobart High School Nelson is the theatre director and has been for quite some time. Although she now has the help of her lovely assistant directors, Mrs Dietrich and Mrs Foerg, she used to be the only person running theatre. Now she is just the main director when it comes to blocking scenes and such. She loves theatre with all of her heart and is so thankful that she is able to share her love for the art with all of her students.
Besides theatre Nelson has also taken it upon herself to run the yearbook committee. Two years ago the school board desperately needed a teacher for the yearbook class and Nelson was very eager to help lend a hand for the year because she loved the yearbook class at her old high school. Once the year came and passed and she put on a great yearbook and had a wonderful class she decided to stick with the yearbook class as an every year type of deal. She single handedly made the yearbook twenty pages longer and more inclusive towards all sports, making last year's yearbook the best yearbook Hobart High School has ever had.
Besides yearbook, Nelson is also in charge of the dual credit speech classes. She teachers college level speech classes to upperclassmen as well as theatre classes, directing classes, english classes, and yearbook. Any spare time she has is spend being in charge of the senior class. As the senior class sponsor she is in charge of designing the class logo and making sure her seniors win all of the class events they possibly can. All she wants is to make sure the senior class has the best last year of high school they possibly could.
For all of the things that Mrs Nelson is involved with theatre is by far the most noticeable of them. Nelson is very greatly appreciated in the theatre department and everyone knows that they could not get nearly as far without her. She helps all of her students with any problems that she can and isn’t afraid to do what it takes to do what is right. All of Nelson’s hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed, especially within her students. She does not get enough credit for all of the things she gives the school credit for.
Some of her students fondest memories of High School are the types in which they spend with Nelson. Whether it was helping her find her keys so they can unlock the dressing room or if it was laughing so hard they are crying on the ground from a joke she told earlier, Nelson is always the common factor in all of these theatre students lives. Nelson would like all of her students to know that she is very thankful to have them all in her lives and wishes them the best of luck in their future theatre careers.
￼ What’s Happening?
Hobart High School is proud to present to the theatre world their very own rendition of My Fair Lady. In this creative show characters struggle through the world of an average flower seller when Eliza Doolittle, portrayed by Lia Rodriguez, runs into the very proper men, Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering. Portrayed by Jack Olsen and Alex Chavez, these men have to teach the proper language of speech to Eliza in hopes of convincing the goers of the Annual Embassy Ball that she is in fact, a princess instead of the very common flower seller that she is. While all of this is happening Eliza’s dad, Alfred Doolittle excitedly drinks away all of his feelings while getting ready for his wedding day. This very exciting musical shows the audience just how hard it is to fit in and the importance of being yourself all while set to fun music and impressive vocals for families of all ages to enjoy. This classic will never grow old and is definitely recommended by everyone who saw the show last weekend to come and see it this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm.
The show opened its doors to the public last weekend and around 6:30, way before the doors were even open, around thirty people were lined up in hopes to get the best seats they could for this classic show. By the times the door closed and the show started over two hundred people were eagerly awaiting the iconic voice of Lia Rodriguez singing everyone's favorite song “Wouldn’t it be loverly”. The audience was in awe as they heard the heavenly sound of the main characters Jack, Alex, and Lia harmonize to “The Rain in Spain” and they laughed so hard they cried during Maxx Johnson’s solo “Get Me To The Church” while Maxx’s character, Doolittle, sings about how he doesn’t want to get married so all of his friends better ensure that they get him to the church in time. Maxx is accompanied by Davaghn Whitting and Adam Barney in multiple songs in which they drunkenly sing about their troubles and dance around stage, being the comedic relief this show very much needs.
There are so many people involved with this show that there are to many to name. The actors and soloists prepare songs and dances months in advance and work very hard to try and memorize dozens of lines in a different accent, remember the steps to dances, and know the harmonizes to multiple songs yet they all manage to have passing grades in all of their classes. The crew members have only a couple of days to put together a full sized set from the ground up as well as paint everything, clean everything, and put together all of the props needed for a show this large. The pit orchestra also spends months learning how to play all of the songs and background interludes and puts in countless hours into practice time to ensure that this musical sounds just as good as it looks. With all of these students working as hard as they do to put together a production this big all they ask for in return is for people in the community to come and see all of their hard work and dedication.
If you want to come and see Hobart High Schools My Fair Lady then stop by the performing arts department this Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm. The house opens at seven o’clock and it is opening seating, first come first serve. The tickets are six dollars for students, seven dollars for senior citizens, and eight dollars for adults. Everyone hopes to see as many people as possible come, help these hardworking students beat box office records! ￼￼
What’s Coming Up?
As many people look out their windows and see all of the halloween decorations disappear and all of the snow appear everyone starts thinking towards the holiday season with wide eyes. Everyone is eagerly looking forwards to snow days and hot chocolate as they sit underneath their warm blanket and look at their Christmas trees all while forgetting this one important event. Thanksgiving. With Thanksgiving coming up so quickly students often forget just how important this holiday is and brush right past it for the december holidays that include snow and presents. But Thanksgiving has things that are just as important. It is a time to give thanks to all of the things in your life that you do not ordinarily say thank you too.
One thing that you should definitely be thankful for that you might ordinarily look past is the fact that for this year we have a three day break. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a day that we have off and also the Friday after. The reason that we have one more day then normal for break this year is because of travel. There are a lot of people this year that are going out of state for Thanksgiving to see their friends and family. Although a lot of people may not necessarily celebrate this holiday it is still a good time to be thankful for all of the little things in your life that helps you throughout the day.
So next week make sure you thank the man holding the door open for you, thank the waitress who brought you an extra straw, thank your teacher for helping you understand that math problem. Thank your parents for raising you into the person you are today, thank your sibling for all of the fun you have with them. Take this holiday as an opportunity to be kinder to all of the people around you and to show them how nice this world really can be.
Take this time as a chance to make a larger turkey then normal and invite people over. This is a time to be together with the people you care about most, not a time to be alone and wallowing away. Although Thanksgiving may be a celebrated because of a time that has been misunderstood throughout generations it is still a time that should be honored among families for a good time in everyone's lives. Let this holiday season be a time for happiness for you are your family. Do something good for someone who always does something good for you. Do something good for someone who never does anything good to remind them what good feels like. Be the bigger person this holiday season. Have a Happy Thanksgiving. ￼