“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.”– William Shakespeare.
12th-grade Wildcat Miranda Swearengin is an experienced actor who has been cast in many roles throughout her time at Ukiah High and the Willits Community Theater. Swearengin spoke with us about how she developed her passion for theater and how Ukiah High helped fuel her fire for the stage.
Swearengin was first introduced to theatrics her sophomore year when she was enrolled in the Intro to Drama class. Though she “was reluctant to do it at first,” she admits, “I started to enjoy it.” She would later learn that “theater is how my parents met.” For Swearengin, acting “started as more of a pleasurable pastime.” But as she moved deeper into the craft of theater, it started to define who she was.
“Ms. Monti has been a great teacher,” Swearengin said. Maria Monti has been the head of the Drama Department for the past 25 years at Wildcat Nation. Through her acting career at Ukiah High, Ms. Monti has taught Swearengin to “embody and become a character and what it takes to bring a character to life.”
Swearingen explained that she not only uses these techniques on the stage but also in social situations. “I used to be a really shy and reserved person but it has shown me how to appear more comfortable and confident in social situations, even if I’m not feeling comfortable and confident,” she shares.
“I’ve definitely seen some similarities in how some actors and directors do during plays,” Swearengin says, “but each show is a new experience and it always has something new to teach me.”
Swearengin’s experience with theater was also improved and developed in other courses At Wildcat Nation. She found that English is “really helpful to help analyze scripts.” She also shares that History “comes in handy too when you’re playing a character at a specific period.”
Lastly, Swearengin hopes that more Wildcats would “try theater.” She has learned “many skills that benefit you off the stage and will introduce you to some of the best people you’ll ever know.” “The arts are so beneficial to a person. I always encourage people to just give it a shot and see what happens.” Swearengin urges Wildcats to join our Drama department in hopes that they would become proud thespians as well; “You never know, it could change your life.”