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Arts Student of the Week: Aiden Sagner

"There is a kind of closeness in the theater," the musical composer John Kander once said. "The rehearsal pianist, the head carpenter, the stage manager, the star of the show-all are family."

Niwot High School student Aiden Sagner agrees with this sentiment completely. "I would describe theater as a really tight-knit community," Sagner acknowledged while describing his experience in theater at NHS. "No matter what show you are working on, everyone there is super close because everyone is working for a common goal. After a while the cast becomes a small family, and everyone is constantly hyping each other up which helps everyone get more confident in their talent."

Theater instructor Amanda Faust, who selected Sagner as Arts Student of the Week, praised the young thespian for his ability to nurture the close rapport among his fellow students. "Aiden brings such positivity and happiness to our class," she said. "He is kind to everyone, and he can make anyone laugh. He is such a leader in our program, and always welcomes anyone new into the drama family."

Sagner became interested in theater while he was in middle school. "My family and I went to the Candlelight Dinner Theater to watch 'Mary Poppins,'" Sagner said, "and I was intrigued by almost everything I saw. I got more and more invested in theater, but I didn't have any acting opportunities in middle school." That changed when he joined NHS, where he has been involved in all different parts of the theater program.

Sanger has taken every drama class offered, including three semesters of the Advanced Drama class. "I've been involved in all different parts of the theater," he said. "I'm currently directing a one-act called 'Check Please' for my advanced drama class." In 2021, Sanger auditioned for Niwot High School's production of "Mamma Mia!" and got a spot in the ensemble. Eventually, he auditioned for "Noises Off!" and got his first named role, as Frederick, in the NHS fall production.

"I played the role of Frederick, who was quite oblivious to social cues and accidentally made many different characters upset. I really enjoyed playing this character. Being able to experiment with a British accent was really fun. I also enjoyed being able to have many moments on stage to make the audience laugh."

"Aiden is an outstanding drama student," Faust said. "He is not only a part of Advanced Drama, he sits on our theater leadership team." The theater leadership team is involved in all the theater events at the school. The team plans fundraisers, plans events that bring recognition to the theater department, and hosts the high school's drama club. "Drama club gives everyone a chance to act with people," the NHS junior said. "And it also gives people who don't have the time in their schedule to take drama to be able to act and participate in the theater department."

The aspect of theater Sagner most enjoys is dance, and he hopes to find more opportunities to expand those skills. He also plans to pursue theater in college. "Theater has made such a large impact in my life," he said, "that I couldn't just go on without some form of theater in my life."

His involvement with the theater reaches beyond NHS. Recently Sagner scored a role performing with the Synthesis Theater Company in the play "Heathers," one of his favorite shows. He plays a featured ensemble role, "the Beleaguered Geek," who gets bullied throughout the show.

"A lot of this show has some serious topics in it which we can see in everyday life and I think it is really special that the cast is able to bring these issues to light and still make the audience laugh," Sagner said. The show runs from Jan. 13 - 15 and again Jan. 20 - 22 at The Arts HUB in Lafayette.


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