With the spring musical “Li’l Abner” rapidly approaching, many St. Martin’s Episcopal School students of all ages are working hard in an attempt to balance their schoolwork and extracurricular activities. However, participating in sports and in theater simultaneously can be exceedingly challenging, as it requires a skill set that involves communication, determination, and devotion. As those who have juggled these interests in the past will attest, many of these skills are gained through experience. That being said, according to many students, the rewards of demonstrating perseverance justify the hard work done during the season. According to Senior Gabby Killett, when managed correctly and efficiently, participating in both sports and theater is a rewarding experience, despite the struggles with time management.
Killett has been involved in the theater since she was a little girl, and for her, being able to balance it with her other activities was of the utmost importance. This year, she has a central role in the play, along with her other commitments to the basketball and cheerleading teams. According to Killett, the end of the winter sports season always conflicts with the beginning of play season, so she has learned how to manage her time in the most efficient way.
“In participating in more than one activity at the same time, it does get increasingly more mechanical just because of the fact that these things are dynamic in very different ways,” Killett said. “It can be very stressful. Hopefully since this overlap between basketball and theater isn’t as significant as the overlap between a spring sport and theater would be, I can definitely get through the season with a smile on my face and make sure everything runs smoothly and swiftly.”
Sophomore Nic Arensman is also an experienced actor, having participated in about 10 shows. However, he has been challenged this year in particular, considering that soccer season went longer than expected, and rehearsal for the musical started earlier. He noted that he found himself extremely busy throughout the week.
“Every day there wasn’t a soccer game, I was at the theater, and whenever I wasn’t in theater, I was at practice,” Arensman said.
This scheduling requires a student capable of impeccable time management, but Arensman also stresses the importance of communication.
“It has made me better (at) talking to people who I’m committed to, making sure they know where I am, and making sure I can balance my time properly,” Arensman said.
Though it takes determination, perseverance, and adaptability, balancing theater and sports is extremely rewarding for those up to the task—provided the students both commit themselves fully and dedicate time to communication.
“Here at St. Martin’s, our coaches and teachers (respond) positively as long as you communicate beforehand,” Killett said.