IN THIS WEEK’S “Faces of ITS” profile, meet Isabelle Snyder, a four-star Thespian junior from Troupe 5029 at State College Area High School in Stage College, Pennsylvania.

Isabelle Snyder

Isabelle Snyder

How has theatre impacted your life?
Theatre has shaped almost every aspect of my life. I have been singing and acting for as long as I can remember, and I can’t remember a time before I loved dancing to famous musical ballads. But more than the joy I get from staging a production, theatre has influenced my friendships. I met my best friends through middle school drama club and high school Thespians, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the warm, accepting family I have built over the years.

What is one lesson you’ve learned from theatre?
Theatre has taught me the power of words and of my voice. I have always loved stories, books, plays — anything I could get my hands on — but theatre was what truly taught me to use my voice and tell my story. In learning how to speak in front of people — whether it be 1 or 1,000 — while remaining grounded and genuine, I have become a better leader and grown in courage when it comes to connecting to people from all walks of life.

What has been your favorite theatre experience so far?
My favorite theatre experience was definitely our most recent Pennsylvania State Thespian Conference this past January. It was my first year serving as a State Thespian Officer, and it was such a joy getting to connect with fellow Thespians from across the state and to hear about each unique and incredible troupe. A week with my best friends to celebrate the theatre I love is already so wonderful, but having the ability to get to know even more Thespians made this past conference extra wonderful.

Who is your theatre hero?
My theatre hero is my dad. He is a university acting professor and has been taking me to Shakespeare, musicals, new plays — any theatre imaginable, really — since I was old enough to understand what was happening. Afterward, we always have long discussions about everything from the staging to the message to the costumes. He taught me to appreciate a good story and to truly listen and honor the voices of everyone, not just the most glamorous actors or gaudy productions. My passion for storytelling and theatre came from my dad, and he will forever be my favorite person to watch a show with.

What theatrical character or show best describes your life?
My favorite character is Jo March from the book/musical Little Women. Though the musical is far from perfect, I had the privilege of playing Jo in eighth grade alongside a sisterhood of my best friends, and it is an experience I’ll never forget. Jo, like me, is a dreamer, someone with so many ideas and passions that she sometimes gets ahead of herself. But Jo has her sisters and her family to ground and protect her, just like I have my incredible Thespian family.

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