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Student of the Week-Rumi Natanzi

Series: Student-Athlete of the Week | Story 27

March 18, 2020

Courtesy Photo

Talented actress Rumi Natanzi recently starred as Morticia Addams in Niwot High's production of The Addams Family Musical.

At age 13, Rumi Natanzi suffered a medical emergency that required years of recovery. She spent a lot of that time listening to original cast recordings of popular musicals, and by the time she was ready to enter ninth grade, she had found a new passion-one that eventually developed into a memorable four-year run on the Niwot High stage. A few weeks ago, Natanzi took her final bow as a Cougar, and said goodbye to the place that has allowed her to tell stories with her expression and voice.

"I didn't really start to consider that theater could be something that I was actually good at until I came to high school and auditioned for the musical," she said."I really enjoyed it and it kind of took off from there."

As a freshman, Natanzi was cast as Little Red in "Into the Woods," an impressive role for her first high school musical. Unfortunately, she also got an impressive cold during the show's run, and had to find time to blow her nose and soothe her sore throat in between scenes. In the years since, she has starred in "The Drowsy Chaperone" and "Cinderella," before her show-stopping role as Morticia Addams in the school's production of the Addams Family, which ended on March 8. She cites this as her favorite show, "since it was such a spectacular role and experience with the cast and creative team."

"I had an amazing time," she said, then added, "I loved everything I've ever done."

Wrapping up her last year on Niwot's stage, Natanzi reflected on the impact she has made.

"During 'Cinderella,' which was last year's show, a little girl came up to me after the show with a note she had written during the intermission. There were drawings of both her and me in our dresses-she was wearing her Cinderella dress, as many little girls who attended were-and she had written a little note telling me how much she loved the show. I was so touched by this gesture, and felt so proud to be playing a role that so many little girls looked up to."

Before her Niwot career, Natanzi participated in summer shows at local theaters such as the Parlando School Of Music in Boulder, as well as CenterStage in Louisville, which she cites as "both fabulous theater programs and experiences." And through these shows she's found a home in theater.

The impact Natanzi has made on the community through theater is something she plans on continuing. Although unsure of where next year takes her, whether it's to the stage, the classroom or perhaps both, Natanzi knows she wants to change people's lives. Although her dream career is, "of course," landing a role on Broadway, teaching theater or working for Human Rights Watch or UNICEF also pique her interest. As she starts counting down the days until graduation, Natanzi is sure of one thing, "I intend to continue to integrate music and performing into my life in whatever way possible."

When Natanzi isn't singing on stage or practicing lines, she is out with friends, reading, binging shows on Netflix or just dancing in her room. As she puts it, "You know, the usual." She also serves as the president of Niwot's chapter of Tri-M, the National Music Honor Society, which aims to implement various musical activities into the community.

As a full IB diploma candidate, Natanzi's schedule is packed, and she often finds herself doing "copious amounts of homework." But she doesn't find herself dreading the pile of homework.

"I absolutely love English class. Every English class I've taken at Niwot, I've enjoyed in one way or another." She added, "I also really love IB Contemporary World History, which I'm taking this year, since I love history in general."

But being on the stage remains her first love and one she hopes remains in her life for years to come.

"There are so many things about performing that I absolutely love," she said. "I would have to say that the most gratifying part of performing to me is the overwhelming sense of community that's formed with every single cast I've ever worked with. The fact that people can put their differences and beliefs aside and all come together with one passion, working toward one common goal, literally brings tears to my eyes."


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