Starlight Seniors—Danielle Woods
Each Broadway season, a talented troupe of high school students known as the Starlight Stars performs for guests before our shows and at community events. We raise the curtain this week on a Starlight Senior who polished her singing, dancing and leadership skills as a Starlight Star for three straight summers.
Senior, Olathe East High School
Starlight Star, 2017-19
Favorite high school experience:
Tending to the animals in my Student Naturalist class. I loved being with them, and it was always one of the most relaxing times of my day.
I also discovered a love for languages. I took both French and Sign Language, and I plan to do the same in college.
What you’ve missed most with school being closed:
I really miss seeing my friends every day and talking to a few of my favorite teachers, as well as prom and all of the other special things that come with being a senior.
Best Starlight experience:
Boot camp was always my favorite part of Starlight Stars.
I got to spend all day with amazing actors, learning even more amazing songs and dances. We were taught by two extraordinary instructors who know so much about the business and imparted so much wisdom upon us.
Advice you’d give to incoming Olathe East freshmen:
Do your work as soon as you get it!
If you can finish and turn it in early, do it. It makes your life a lot less stressful the further into the year you get, and it leaves you with more time to do fun stuff with friends and family.
How you’re making the most of online schooling:
Online learning isn’t too bad. I have to work on it for a couple hours a day, and the assignments aren’t super complicated.
Luckily, I don’t have many video classes, and the one I do have is later in the day. With this, I get to wake up later and do all of the schoolwork from the comfort of my reclining couch!
Plans for this summer:
My friends and I have planned a girls’ day at SEA LIFE Aquarium as soon as we can safely leave the house.
When I’m not working, I plan to visit the zoo and spend as much time as I can with everyone I didn’t get to see during quarantine before I leave for college.
Plans for your immediate future:
Thankfully, I was accepted into a number of colleges and recently decided that I would start the next chapter of my life at Missouri Western State University (St. Joseph, Mo.), home of the Griffons.
Hopes/dreams for your future:
I hope to get a degree and work in the medical field, but I have yet to determine whether I want to work with people or animals. I’d be happy doing both!
I also plan to keep in touch with my friends and see them as much as possible.
Favorite musical and why:
I have so many favorites but, if I had to choose, I’d pick Hamilton!
I fell in love with it from the trailer, and it only got better when I saw it in person in Chicago. I can recite almost all of the songs by heart, and I never get sick of hearing the skillfully written songs. It combines some of my favorite things – history, music and amazing acting.
His music never fails to put me in a good mood. I have never heard an album of his that I didn’t like, and I can always jam to one of his songs.
Words you live by:
“You will have many difficulties in your life. Many struggles will come your way. But keep your head up, your shoulders up, and don’t let your crown fall.”
You can overcome anything with the help of family and friends, so don’t be afraid to rely on the people you trust.
Theatre made it 10 times easier to make friends with similar interests. It helped me learn new things about my personality, while giving me the opportunity to lose myself in a variety of different characters.
I fell in love with performing at a very young age. I always wanted to be on stage and loved being the center of attention. As I got older, theatre helped me connect with people because I was a little shy when it came to starting conversations. Theatre also gave me some of my closest friends to this day!
NOTE: Know a high school performer looking for more training this summer? Starlight is accepting videotaped audition submissions for the 2020 Starlight Stars through Friday, May 22. Look for full information at kcstarlight.com/starlightstars.