Some people win at life. They stand out when everyone is dressed alike, and they succeed in everything they do. Senior Hale Stewart is one of those people as the stage star of NDP.
Keegan Luther, fellow thespian and friend of Stewart, described him as “sarcastic, unpredictable, smart and a great leader. Overall, he has a big heart.” Stewart is well known on campus as a fun and animated person to be around.
Coming up on Feb. 26, Stewart will be playing the lead role in NDP’s 2016 musical “Big Fish.” Since freshman year, he has been in 15 shows both on campus and in the Valley and is ecstatic for this one to open.
Drama director Bonnie Wilson said, “I met Hale as a freshman. I knew about him from his older brother, Flynn, and was eagerly awaiting his arrival. I saw his potential as an actor when he first auditioned for The Crucible.
“Hale looks completely different than he did his freshman year as an actor. He has improved because he was able to change his focus without losing his focus,” she added.
Wilson noted that a lot of his progress came from branching out and working in different productions. His voice and acting skills improved as well from all his hard dedication and practice to give every show his all.
Last year, Stewart came in the top 10 at the national Shakespeare competition in New York City after winning the NDP Shakespeare contest and being the regional champion in Phoenix.
On working with Stewart, Luther said, “The best thing for an actor is to be able to give and take. You have to give all you have to your scene partner. Hale gives everything back that you give him in spades.”
Stewart recently commit to Northwestern University with a theater major. He plans on auditioning for a musical program there, and will later decide whether to follow the stage or film path. He is looking forward to spending time in the wonderful city of Chicago.
Stewart said, “I joined drama because I had nothing to do during the first week of school my freshman year, and I heard the announcement for the first drama meeting. I decided to go, and when I got there, everyone was so nice and welcoming.”
When asked how he manages to do it all so well, Stewart answered, “Learning to find the right balance was difficult, but it is all about time management.”
That is his big secret: balance. Figuring out how to manage what is important along with putting in the time for practice is all it takes.
As Big Fish opens next month, Wilson said she believes this show will be a good experience for Stewart. She thinks it will be a great challenge for him to have to play the same character at both 15 and 60 years of age.
She added, “It is a very unique, but very real story. It’s human. Hale is playing a man whose son does not get him. His wife is unconditionally loving and adoring, but the son just does not understand. He sees his father as a fake.
“The message of the story is to love and to accept people for who they are and not what they seem to be. There is a lot of meaning brought in the music that is very emotional,” she continued.
The excitement for Big Fish is high as the Drama Club continues to prepare for opening night.
Tickets cost $5 for students and $10 for adults. Buy them online or get them at the door!
The last words from Hale Stewart were “Come see the show!”