See Moments from Creek’s Fine Arts Signing Day

11 seniors commit to performing arts programs

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Norah Rudnick

Eleven seniors planning to attend college for fine arts degrees participated in Fine Arts Signing Day, where graduating students are honored for their time in Creek fine arts programs. Theatre director Alex Burkart, choir director Sarah Harrison, band director Tim Libby, and orchestra director Jennifer Poole all introduced some of their students and their future plans on stage. From left, top row: Addison Niehoff, Lexi Casey, Ren Becerra, Bella Mitchell, Riccardo D’Urso, Caleb Meyerhoff, Paul Marshall. From left, bottom row: Alex Mitchell, Lizzie Esses, Sara Manos, Erika Liu.

Carly Philpott and Norah Rudnick

Similar to the Athletics Signing program held for seniors, Creek Fine Arts holds a signing day every year to honor those who have committed to pursuing theatrical arts or music in college. This year, which marked the program’s return to in-person after COVID-19, had seven seniors committing to theatrical studies and four committing to music.

Signing day feels especially gratifying to seniors who have worked hard to get into the college they will be attending, some of which required an arduous rehearsal process.

“The signing day is special because the college process is super tough,” Senior Lizzie Esses said. “And getting to celebrate our successes from the other side feels very full circle.

Many of the seniors also value the signing day because they feel that their achievements are also being honored alongside the more popular paths at Creek such as academics or athletics.

“Fine Arts signing day is so special because not often do you get to see the Fine Arts students get recognized in this way,” senior Ren Beccera said. “Mainly athletes and academics get this kind of recognition so it’s very special that artists are finally getting the recognition we deserve.”

The individual seniors participated in extracurricular activities such as theatre or band, and those experiences often were integrated into what they chose to study in college. In addition, the draw of the opportunities that a certain college holds allows students to choose where they want to study.

Senior Alex Mitchell, who is committing to University of Minnesota for a BFA in Acting through the school’s Guthrie program, said seeing the campus and learning about the additional opportunities that UMN offers was a big part of why he chose to attend there.

“When I toured in April I really loved the atmosphere. All of the students made me feel welcome ,included and really at home,” Mitchell said. “During my junior year [the theatre gets] to perform on the stage of the Globe Theatre in London which is really cool.”

Signing day is often correlated with a night of high emotion, as seniors leave their high school extracurriculars for the last time.

Moving on to college arts programs means endless new opportunities and experiences, but for many seniors, it’s still bittersweet. Creek’s arts programs are tight-knit and full of dedicated students, and many seniors find it difficult to say goodbye. Esses described the mixed feelings that come with leaving one community for a new one.

“I will miss the community I found in Creek theatre,” Esses said. “I have met some of the most fantastic, caring, passionate people in Troupe 1730 and I will miss them all very much.”

Senior Sara Manos, who is committing to New York University for a BFA in Drama Production and Design, said she had many of the same difficult feelings. Many of the experiences she had at Creek have shaped her dreams for college and beyond, and even as she’s leaving, she has high hopes for her time at NYU.

“I will miss my little Creek theatre family so much,” Manos said. “Just having such a wonderful group of people to make art with every day is so much fun and I hope to find the same thing at NYU next year.”