AS THE DAUGHTER of a theatre teacher, Anna Hastings grew up acting, singing, and dancing. In addition to a dance career forged in toddlerhood, Hastings has performed as Mary Warren in The Crucible, Wednesday in The Addams Family, and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream — all as part of Thespian Troupe 5006 at Olathe South High School in Kansas.

Anna Hastings with her father, theatre teacher David Hastings

Anna Hastings with her father, theatre teacher David Hastings. Photo courtesy of Anna Hastings.

Hastings also assisted with choreography for the Kansas Thespians All-State musical Bring It On!, performed on the main stage of the 2019 International Thespian Festival. In fall 2019, she choreographed Disaster!, her troupe’s main stage musical.

Hastings served as Kansas State Thespian Officer for two years and as chair of the 2019-20 International Thespian Officers. Next year, she plans to attend the University of Kansas to double-major in dance and business management and leadership.

When did you first become interested in theatre?
I started taking dance classes when I was 2. My dad is a theatre teacher, and when I was 5, he was looking for kids to be in the ensemble of one of his shows. At first, I was super hesitant because I didn’t want people to laugh at me onstage. But eventually, I decided to go for it. I loved every minute of that show, and I’ve been involved with theatre ever since.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to dance, and I’m currently in a youth ballet company at the Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice. I also love reading, I’m a roller coaster fanatic, and I love all things Disney.

How did you become interested in becoming a Thespian Officer?
I grew up watching my dad serve theatre students and his fellow teachers, and it was really inspiring. Theatre gave me a way to tell stories, to grow more confident in myself, and to meet new people. I wanted to give back to that community in whatever way I could, much like my dad does.

What do you think makes a good leader?
Good leaders come in many forms. In my experience, good leaders are also good listeners. They work to serve the needs of others instead of their own interests. They are organized, empathetic, and hard-working. Leaders are also self-starters and self-motivators, and they are not afraid to speak up for what is right or what is important, even when it may be challenging.

What advice would you share with other Thespians?
No matter what your goals are, work hard for what you want, and when you get there, enjoy the trip. Things may not always end up how you planned or expected them to, but if you keep moving forward with a positive attitude, you will never stop learning and growing from the experience.

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