AS A FRESHMAN, Thespian alum Shreya Muju had to be persuaded by a friend to audition for her first high school musical. Muju told her, “I don’t know if I want to do it. … I shouldn’t. There are so many people who are amazing. I don’t know if I should go in there and make a fool out of myself.”

According to Muju, she did make a fool of herself, singing the first line of her song, then promptly forgetting the rest. “That was my first audition ever, for anything,” Muju said. “But after that I got hooked. I was part of every show in our program.”

Today, the recent graduate of Rock Ridge High School’s Thespian Troupe 8104 in Ashburn, Va., has 12 shows under her belt, including leading roles in productions of Mary Poppins and Bright Star, which she helped take to the main stage of the 2019 International Thespian Festival. She is also the 2019 winner of the Educational Theatre Association’s Amy Bennett Musical Theatre Scholarship, funded by the Amy Bennett Foundation. Muju will pursue a degree in musical theatre this fall at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Dramatics sat down with Muju at ITF to discuss lessons from Bright Star, overcoming challenges, and why opportunities are what you make of them.

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