Posted on 09 December 2014.
BY MARISSA BABITZ
Acting and dancing can be described as an artistic facet of self-expression, and junior Jordanne Cantrill has turned it into her passion.
She discovered her love for theater about five years ago when she decided to get involved in school productions at Falcon Cove Middle School and started dancing in high school when she joined the Cypress Bay color guard.
“The first play I was in was ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ in sixth grade, and I fell in love with acting,” Cantrill said.
Acting in that musical inspired her to continue theater in high school and join the American Musical Theatre (AMT) program her freshman year by recommendation of her middle school drama teacher.
Cantrill said acting in her first AMT show “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as a freshman set the foundation for her entire high school career. She also discovered a love for dance when she earned a spot on the JV Color Guard team.
“Color guard opened me up to a whole new kind of performance,” she said. “I fell in love with dancing and I use some of what I learned from guard in AMT as well.”
Cantrill said her sophomore year was even more important because she learned that for a good performance, a great cast can make or break a show.
“‘Les Miserables’ was another great show because it gave me an opportunity to play multiple diverse characters,” she said.
Throughout her sophomore year, Cantrill assisted in choreographing numbers in “Les Miserables,” putting together publicity ideas, and won multiple awards for the productions she was cast in.
“The experience was incredible because I learned so much about choreographing and having all of that responsibility,” she said. “Being recognized for my hard work by winning awards is like the icing on the cake.”
[caption id="attachment_5947" align="alignright" width="482"]
Junior Jordanne Cantrill[/caption]
Cantrill won an overall superior rating at the Districts One Act Thespians Festival for her solo piece in ‘Admissions.’
“It was such a fantastic year as far as Thespians Festival was concerned, and I was able to go to Tampa that year as an observer for the States Thespians festival,” she said. “It was great to go and not perform because it allowed me more time to go to workshops and see other actors’ pieces.”
Cantrill said acting in “Admissions” as Evelyn was her favorite role of her high school career.
“She was an older woman who had died and gone to a sort of afterlife that was in the form of a waiting room, more like an interview,” she said. “The woman giving the interview, unknown to my character, was God and she leads Evelyn through this process to analyze her life.”
At the Districts One Act Thespians Festival she was awarded All-Star Cast Members and “Admissions” was one of only four shows that got a superior rating.
“I loved it so much because it really tested my limits in a new way since the character I was playing was 54 and dead but also alive at the same time, so it had to be spot on in order to be believable,” she said.
Cantrill’s sophomore year in drama was also greatly influenced by her membership in the varsity color guard team. It was a completely different kind of performing that not only made her a better dancer but also gave her the most incredible opportunities.
After weeks on end of competitions and performances, in the end Cantrill and the rest of her team were rewarded with the opportunity to compete in Ohio at a worldwide WGI (Winter Guard International) competition.
“I cannot even describe how grateful I am to have learned from the experiences of that entire season,” she said.
Cantrill is currently in her junior year and is the Drama Club historian, co-coordinator of the advertising committee, and is in charge of organizing the Lip Sinc show that will be held during the second semester.
She will be acting with the Drama Club playing a primary character, Luann, in the competing one act this year called ‘After Hours’ and she’ll also be playing a challenging role as Nina, a lead character, in the production ‘In The Heights’ on March 13.
AMT director Cynthia Lutwin said she has seen Cantrill grow into an incredible young woman over the past three years.
“Over the past years she has taken every role and made it her own,” she said. “Her voice is wonderful, her dancing is sensational, and her acting is real and believable. I adore her on and off the stage.”
Mrs. Lutwin said Cantrill makes everything she performs in memorable.
“She always gives her all in every role she earns and she has developed more confidence and personality on stage,” she said.
Cantrill said the best thing about being involved with acting in AMT and dancing in color guard at Cypress is that she has been given exceptional opportunities while still feeling relatively in her comfort zone.
“Basically, we have programs with such potential and competitiveness but we also support each other and everything is relaxed,” she said. “I met almost all of my best friends through AMT and color guard. Even when we disagree and want to scream and cry we always end up pulling everything together and having an amazing shows in both programs.”
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