IN THIS WEEK’S “Faces of ITS” profile, meet Luis Avalos, a three-star Thespian sophomore from Troupe 1038 at South Tama County High School in Tama, Iowa.

Luis Avalos

Luis Avalos

How has theatre impacted your life?
Theatre has impacted my life tremendously. When I was young, I was very timid, and I only enjoyed singing to myself. My mom signed me up for a theatre camp in third grade, and that’s where I truly felt like I found my place. Through theatre, I have become much more confident in myself, created many friendships, and opened myself to so many opportunities. Without theatre, I would not be the person I am today.

What is one lesson you’ve learned from theatre?
Get out of your comfort zone and go for it. If you want to do something, try it! I learned that attempting something is the best way to find out if you like it. You truly can’t decide [if you like] something if you’ve never tried. Through theatre, I have come out of my shell, and it’s made it a lot easier to try new things.

What has been your favorite theatre experience so far?
My favorite theatre experience so far was performing Defying Gravity at the Iowa Thespian Festival in 2019. Being in front of hundreds of Thespians from the state really pushed me to make it the best performance I had ever done. The entire cast and crew of that show were amazing. The audience responded even better than any of us expected. And the crazy thing about it all is that we got it done with only one rehearsal every week for three months.

Who is your theatre hero?
Lin-Manuel Miranda! Growing up, I never really heard of people who were Latino onstage, so when I discovered Lin-Manuel Miranda, I was blown away by his work. His shows are some of my favorite musicals, and he is an amazing person. As well as being an actor, composer, and playwright, he is also an activist who creates change in the world.

What theatrical character or show best describes your life?
I can’t really think of a theatrical show that describes my life, but a show that I love simply because it reminds me of my heritage is In the Heights. The show includes Hispanic heritage and music. And the fact that the story is about chasing your dreams while not forgetting your roots and community is beautiful!

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