The FC drama department presents, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, staring junior Caitlin Gaines as Grace Bradley, the mother. The cast concluded their shows over the weekend, performing for the student body, Nov. 15 and for the general public Nov. 16 at 7 p.m., and for their matinee showing at 4 p.m., Nov. 17.

With the many pressures junior year provides it’s hard to find an outlet that helps relieve the everyday life of a student. Gaines discovered her outlet long ago and continues to participate in her passion for acting through the campus drama department.

Gaines first discovered her interest in the art of drama in the sixth grade and has stuck with it ever since. Despite the sparse numbers of participants, the drama department has continued to preform all six years that Gaines has been involved.

“I came to school here in the sixth grade, and they had a bunch of different electives to choose from and drama happened to be one of them, Gaines said. “I’d seen some plays before so I thought it would be really fun to try it. I just love to preform and getting to act as a new character every time, not to mention constantly trying something different with the characters I portray.”

Throughout the six years of preforming, Gaines has embodied a wide variety of characters, her favorite being Martha Gilberth in Cheaper By the Dozen her sophomore year.

“I think my favorite character to play was Martha Gilberth in Cheaper by the Dozen last year, Gaines said. “The whole show was just really fun and everything about was just awesome. The hardest role I think I had to play was Emily Babcock in The Christmas Dress because I had to speak with a southern accent and it was just really hard for me.”

Aside from preforming at school, Gaines also participates in a show of Beauty and the Beast with Children’s Musical Theaterworks (CMT).

“I’m doing a show outside of school right now with Children’s Musical Theaterworks, and that’s the first thing I’ve ever done outside of this school,” Gaines said. “We are doing Beauty and the Beast, and I am very excited.”

Throughout all her years of preforming Gaines remembers her first show and favorite moments.

“My first play that I had participated in was Christmas Unwrapped and I played a shopkeeper, named Mary,” Gaines said, “My most embarrassing moment was when we were doing 39 Steps and my part was to get the audience to start applauding throughout different parts of the show. I thought that one person had the last line, but it was actually someone else, so I started applauding and I totally cut off the last person’s line.”

Even with many years of experience, Gaines still gets nervous from time to time before she steps on stage.

“I still get nervous a little bit, but I think the most frightening thing is if you forget something on stage, or if someone else forgets something their are supposed be doing, Gains said. “Then you have to quickly improv{ise} and quickly make up for what has just happened on stage.”

After performing in a variety of different plays, she concluded that she enjoys both serious and comedic plays.

“I don’t really have a preference about what types of shows we do,” Gaines said. “I have done a lot of comedies and I would like to do more serious shows instead of comedies, but I do like both.”

Senior, Aliciana Quintana has acted alongside Gaines for three years and admires her improvisation skills.

“I have been in drama with Caitlin {Gaines} for three years, and I think she is a very good actress because she has what it takes to play certain roles,” Quintana said. “Her strengths are that she can just jump right into a role and she is able to play it very well. My favorite memory is when we put on Cheaper by the Dozen together, because that play was just a lot of fun.”

Sophomore, Ethan Andrew, remembers his favorite play with Gaines.

“I have been doing drama with Caitlin since I started and that would have to be five years ago,” Andrew said. “My favorite memory is when we did The Bible in 30 Minutes or Less, because that was my first play I did with her; it was a lot of fun to do, and it was a great time. Caitlin {Gaines} is a great actress and she loves to do a lot of Broadway and singing, she’s just really great at what she does.”

Head of the drama department, Susan Ainley, has watched Gaines grow and mature throughout her years of having her in class.

“Caitlin {Gaines} has grown as an actress every single year that I’ve had her,” Ainley said. “This year I’ve noticed a maturity about her acting that has set her apart, and makes it easy to cast her in any role. I look forward to see what she does next semester.”

Some of Gaines’s skills, as a mature actress, include memorizing her lines and aiding other students with props and scenes, Ainley said.

“Her strengths are that she memorizes quickly, she’s aware of whats happening around her, she’s very helpful and she pitches in where ever necessary,” Ainley said. “She has really good energy on stage that makes other people around her want to act even better. She is absolutely a leader and she has really taken on that role this year in making sure everyone is ready at all times.”

These writers can be reached via Twitter: @_sarapeterson and @gaby_siqueiros. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more features, read the Nov. 14 article, Moore competes for National Merit Scholar.