Wesley Schroeder has wrapped his arms around theater and has no plans of ever letting go. The stage, whether on it, behind it or in front of it, is his second home – maybe even his first home.
The Dexter senior can’t get enough of that excitement that theater brings. For many, theater is pure magic, a feeling that brings out a creative spark that fuels the imagination and takes you places you never could imagine. It’s also about a group of people working together in their own unique way with their own unique vision.
It’s also about … finding your way in life.
“I absolutely want to be involved in theater the rest of my life,” says Schroeder. “I’m working towards stage managing as my career currently, and I’m incredibly grateful to the Dexter Drama Club for helping me find that path for myself.”
It’s hard not to get excited about theater just listening to Schroeder express his feelings about what the Dexter Drama Club has meant to him – it’s not just killing a few hours after school or hanging out with friends, although that is part of it.
“I really love the community created by the club,” he says. “My freshman year I heard that the drama club prides itself on being a family of talented people and that really rings true for me.
“Everyone working towards making a fabulous show come to life really brings us all together in an amazing way. I’ve had the chance to work with so many talented individuals through this club, and I met some of my best friends here! I can’t say enough about what this community has given me.”
In his quest to learn all the different “roles” that theater has to offer, Schroeder will be the house manager for the upcoming production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” It’s a part he’s eager to learn – and wrap his arms around.
“A house manager is in charge of creating a welcoming space for their patrons to walk into,” he says. “We ensure that patrons have a good experience in finding seats, getting tickets and concessions, and waiting for the show to begin.
“In addition to that we also act as part of our publicity team – we help create and distribute materials promoting the show. This can be flyers, press releases and the a-frames you see around Dexter. This is actually my first time working as house manager, but I’m incredibly excited to learn all I can about it!”
OK, Wesley. Put on your PR hat and sell us “Little Shop of Horrors.”
“I really love the excellent energy surrounding the show,” he says. “The enthusiasm the cast and crew have for this show is just incredible, and it’s fantastic to work with so many people who are really excited to work on this show.”
Wesley, the son of Brian and Deb Schroeder, has been busy with theater ever since he walked through the doors at Dexter High School. He’s been involved in 14 other Dexter Drama productions, but my most notable are stage managing for the fall production of “Peter Pan or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up,” and winter production of “Oliver! The Musical!”
“I’ve also worked in costumes for shows like “Cinderella,” “Chicago” and “Beauty and the Beast,” props for “On the Town,” and Assistant Stage Manager/Deck Manager for our past two 3D series and our last spring show of “Much Ado About Nothing.”
Schroeder is currently an Early College Alliance student at EMU.
“I will hopefully be attending Pace University’s stage management program next fall,” he says.