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Working with youth a rewarding experience; community is lucky to have young performers
I have performed with some extraordinary youngsters and adults and hope to continue to do so in the future. Recently, I ran into Katelin Wilson and her lovely mother at Enumclaw’s QFC after work. Katelin is a freshman at Enumclaw High School, has performed in five shows with Stage Door Productions and is a true performing arts champion.
I met her officially while rehearsing for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.” I love seeing a castmate after a play is over. It’s like seeing family and having an instant reunion.
I heard my name being called and was met with open arms by Katelin. I was delighted to see her. I am honored to be in the company of talented, kind and intelligent individuals. Watching SDP youth grow into young adults with inspiring goals and superior ethics is very rewarding.
There are so many beautiful artists that have touched my life over the years. In the last couple of years I’ve grown close to the Mitchell sisters, Kristen and Alex, of Buckley. These girls live and breathe theater and music. Their enthusiasm cannot be dampened. Both are active in pageants and are focused on their futures.
I’d like to highlight all the youth and adults that I have shared the stage with over the years. There may be thousands now that I think about it. Yes, I am that old! There is one particular young lady by the name of Sadi Wentz I would like to take a moment to bring to the forefront.
Sadi is the daughter of Angela and Steve Wentz of Buckley, the oldest of their three children. Sadi has two brothers; Jonathan, who will turn 14 in July, and Joseph, who will turn the ripe old age of 8 in September.
SDP has been blessed to have the superb accompaniment skills of Angela Wentz as our rehearsal pianist when we have performed musicals. She also sits in the orchestra pit playing keyboard. It’s a win-win arrangement that Sadi can ride along with her mother to rehearsals and join in the fun.
During the last year I have been privileged to see Sadi in a couple of plays and each time I am struck by her command and poise. She is radiant. She glows and her smile outshines any spotlight. There is something wonderful about this young lady that starts from her sense of self and connects with her conviction to her faith. I thought she was a senior this year, but I was wrong. She is a junior at EHS, so our community gets to hold her in its arms for another year before she is off to major in music education at Pacific Lutheran University and minor in history.
I sent some questions to the Wentz’s home about Sadi’s experience in theater, music and what her hopes and dreams might be. Her mother wrote back the most amazing and loving synopsis of her daughter’s life. It touched my heart and I hope it touches yours.
This is what Angela wrote to me about her daughter.
“Sadi’s first theatre experience was “Get Hoppin’” with Stage Door Players which, if I remember correctly, was in 2002. That was when she was 8; she’s been acting in the community and at her school for half her life.
She has been in several plays and musicals such as “Annie” with the Carbonado School. With Stage Door Productions she has performed in “Oklahoma,” “Jungle Book,” “Variations on the Death of Trotsky,” “Willy Wonka, Jr.,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Man of La Mancha,” “Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” “Godspell” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”
In high school she had been in “Sweeney Todd,” “Status Update,” and then played Trix the Aviatrix in “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
Sadi would love to play Minnie in “Hello Dolly,” Katie Howard in “Calamity Jane,” Babe in “The Pajama Game” or any of the brides in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” (I love that she loves the old musicals and movies!!!)
I have taught piano Sadi’s entire life. As a baby, she would often be in my arms as I taught. I realized she had a talent for piano and music when she was 3.
I was drilling an older student on his note flashcards when he seemed stuck on one card in particular. Sadi had been playing underneath my grand piano and came up to see what was taking so long. She looked at the card and hit the note on the piano and exclaimed “That’s D!” She was right! I and her grandmother began working with her shortly after. She also studied for a few years with Luanne Kauppila in Enumclaw.
Grandma Julia Wentz, a voice and piano teacher in Buckley, would often watch Sadi, giving her the opportunity to be present at many voice lessons. She had excellent training from just listening to grandma teach her students.
Sadi now studies voice privately with Elizabeth Scott of Enumclaw. Sadi transferred to Enumclaw in her freshman year and has enjoyed choir with Paul Scott at EHS for the past 2-plus years. This past year she sang “Et Exultavit Spritus Meus” by J.S. Bach at the regional solo/ensemble contest.
She has a three octave vocal range.
Other interests include playing guitar with her dad and flitting about the house singing anything and everything at the top of her lungs, as she puts it.
Sadi says she enjoys singing because it seems that when she sings she feels warmth, love, happiness and joy flowing forth from her heart and she wants to share that with others. Sadi credits God with her success.
She says, in addition, her family, friends (met through many capacities from young to old), and teachers have helped her become who she is today. Without them, she feels she would not be who she is today.
Her dream job would be teaching (choir director) and performing in community theatre – though she would like the chance to act professionally should the opportunity present itself.
I’m proud of Sadi for so many reasons. She is a kind and empathetic person and treats others how she would like to be treated. If someone is being negative or mean, she doesn’t get upset at them. Rather she will say, “maybe they’re having a bad day” and gives them the benefit of the doubt and loves them anyway.
She is positive, has a good work ethic, she is funny and fun to be around. She has a strong character and stays true to who she is. Sadi makes goals and strives for them.
She inspires me to be a better person and work hard. I also tell her I would choose her as a friend if she wasn’t my daughter!
Thank you for loving my daughter. First and foremost I am her mother, but she is much more than a daughter to me. She is my friend, a compass in that she helps keep me on a good path, and my most favorite person to accompany. We are so blessed to be able share music and theatre with each other. I foresee us enjoying these activities for years to come. You don’t know how tickled I am that she is choosing music education as her
major; maybe someday she’ll invite me to play for her students and working with her will continue for many years!!!”
Yes, we are very fortunate to have the young people we do in our community. There is so much more to theater than performing. In the majority of cases, the relationships we develop are most precious and lifelong. This in itself is priceless.