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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

High School Senior Probably Just Really Good At Playing Non-Speaking Animal Roles, Right?

by Luke Maynus. @luke.maynus.

RICHMOND, Va. - The halls of Rutherford Hayes High School have been buzzing with excitement following the release of the cast lists for the spring musical, Into The Woods.

Although the community is excited to see a Rutherford Hayes spin on a Sondheim classic, the real excitement surrounds senior Evelyn Runion, as the release of this cast list has cemented her legacy of playing a non-speaking animal in every show during her tenure in the RHHS theatre department.

“I’m just a team player so I’m happy to be involved in any way,” said Runion while clutching the straps of her backpack until her knuckles went white with rage. “Theatre is just a fun extra curricular, it’s not like I want this to be my career or anything LOL!”

Janet Newman, RHHS’s drama teacher, has been helping Runion prepare to audition for collegiate theatre programs around the country, and was happy to comment on her star student’s type-cast.

“Sure she might not be able to sing… or dance… or convincingly deliver dialogue, but her talents lie elsewhere,” claimed Newman while ordering a group of 14 year olds to attempt complex carpentry jobs as they built the set for the new musical. “I knew she found her niche when she played a drumming octopus in our production The Little Mermaid! She’s since played Toto in The Wizard of OZ, Bruiser in Legally Blonde, and that one random monkey in Sunday in the Park with George.”

Darrien MacDonald, a local zookeeper and avid fan of Runion’s work, was thrilled to hear about her new upcoming role.

“She just embodies the intuitive movement and natural instincts of the animals she portrays, it’s unbelievable to see for yourself” exclaimed MacDonald, hoping we wouldn’t ask why he frequents high school theatre. “If the whole showbiz thing doesn’t work out, we’d love to hire her at the zoo. We feel like she’d be a calming presence for the animals.”

Into the Woods will be Runion’s last show at Rutherford Hayes High School before she graduates. As speculated by many, Runion will be portraying the fan favorite cow, Milky White, and will finally have the honor of her first ever spoken line in a show, “Moo.”


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