The future is dependent on the present and composed of the past, as the theatre department of Hayfield Secondary is well aware of. A legacy is built upon this familiar establishment. Under the posters of past productions and beneath the layers of unrecognizable costumes, the whispers of bygone applause can still resonate.
Jenny McConnell Frederick, class of 1994, remembers the impact that Hayfield had on her. “My time at Hayfield, and in Ms. Wilburn's class, definitely had an impact on my current career,” said the co-founder and Artistic Director of Rorschach Theatre. McConnell Frederick attributes her sense of professionalism, and her habit of “being reliable and taking the craft of theatre and your fellow artists seriously” to her years spent with Hayfield Drama. Within such an open-minded and supportive atmosphere, students learn to cultivate their dreams. As McConnell Frederick said, “No matter how crazy or impractical something seems — believe in yourself.”
Likewise, Brian Gartland, a 2005 graduate, agrees that there’s something unique about the Hayfield theatre experience. When asked about his college infusion and how Hayfield Drama had prepared him, Gartland said that “[Since] coming out of Hayfield, I had a better grasp on how to choose and present the monologue,” which aids Gartland in his progress at Virginia Commonwealth University. Within Hayfield’s auditorium lies not only a feel of comradeship, but as Gartland phrased it, “There's also a sense of professionalism. I knew that a play was not a playground.”
Indeed, this sense of professionalism influences Hayfield’s students in the real world. Chris Galindo, another alumni, said that learning the “importance of characterization” guided his muse to achieve many acting opportunities, including commercials and independent film work.
Cappie nominee and Hayfield graduate Kristen Garaffo is presently at Boston Conservatory, studying musical theatre. “I feel the expectations they have for Conservatory students are the same expectations I had in Hayfield's drama department,” Garaffo said. The challenges that Garaffo encounters on a daily basis are not intimidating, but inviting; perhaps because her previous experience with Hayfield Drama ignites personal confidence and determination.
Past, present, and future: the components of the continual jigsaw of Hayfield Drama. As juniors look toward the next year, and seniors gaze longingly at post-high school prospects, one tradition at Hayfield will remain unchanged: its legacy.