Students weigh benefits of acting in and out of CHS


Courtesy of Liam Marshall

Marshall, center, performs with the Spring Lake Theatre Company in Oct. 2018.

Brigid McCarthy

Since CHS doesn’t have any official sports teams, participation in out-of-school athletics is common.  Why, then, do students attend drama club at their home high schools when CHS already has one to offer?

Some students choose one over the other out of convenience. Sophomore Steven Ostrom of Lincroft has theater experience at both CHS and Shore Regional High School, and said that he prefers Shore Regional’s drama club for reasons that don’t necessarily have to do with the clubs themselves.

“The rehearsal schedule isn’t directly after school, so I get time to go home and do homework,” Ostrom said. “I also liked it better because it’s more people that I don’t really know… it was kinda nice to be able to branch out a little bit at Shore.”

Students who are more serious about the performing arts might be more inclined to participate in out-of-school productions. Senior Liam Marshall of Sea Girt has performed in both CHS and community playhouse productions and said that the professionalism of community theater remains unmatched.

“They’re very different,” Marshall said. “Both are awesome to do, lots of fun and great experiences, but a lot of the specific aspects, like production team, set and technical and type of people that are cast, are different. I’d say the technical aspect is better at a community theater, only because of the abundance of resources they have compared to a drama club at a high school.”

Those less experienced in the theatrical world might find comfort in the environment CHS’s drama club offers, which sophomore Nate Riehl of Wall described as “laid-back.” Riehl said trying something new was easier in front of familiar faces.

“I had never acted before, so I would have rather come here and blown an audition rather than blown an audition in front of all people I don’t know [at Wall],” Riehl said.

Home high school or not, it is not necessarily about the “where,” but the “who” for many students. Junior Ryan Swanson of Brielle is a member of Manasquan High School’s drama club and said that the best part is the students.  

“I don’t think I have a preference between one group of kids and another group of kids, but I do think a huge part of Manasquan is the group of kids there,” Swanson said. “It’s just such a good bonding experience that I haven’t felt in other drama clubs.”

Sophomore Bella Carmona-Ramirez of Long Branch feels the same way about CHS’s drama club and said even the stressful audition process is fun with the right people.

“It doesn’t feel like there’s much pressure,” Carmona-Ramirez said. “We’re huddled together in the hallway, cracking jokes, helping each other practice.  It feels very home-y.”