Morgan Brown ‘17 – In the upcoming musical, Aida, performers have the chance to step out of their shells and into the depths of Egypt, developing a romantic story with beautiful music. Some familiar and recurring theatre faces star in the musical, but one new person has made her way into an important role.

Rebecca Hnatyk ‘17 rehearsed for a role in Aida months before auditions. With hard work and dedication, she impressed the theatre company, seizing her first named role in a school production.

Hnatyk plays Nehebka, a representative of Nubian slaves who attempts to keep them in good spirits. With two solos and a few spoken scenes, she is taking on the most active role in her theatre career.

Hnatyk has been dancing almost her whole life, singing since middle school, and actively takes vocal and dance lessons. She has performed in another school musical, 9 To 5, as part of the chorus, yet, the opportunity for a more prominent role in a musical proved to be nerve wracking.

However, her nerves quickly fizzled into excitement once she began perfecting her role and learning about more aspects of the theatre.

“I think the main thing that Knoblock and Hinkle were looking for was being able to act while singing,” Hnatyk said. “The major thing I had to work on was my facial expressions.”

Hnatyk claims that Camryn D’Angelo ‘17, with whom she shares her role, has helped her improve her acting skills. D’Angelo, who has played both major and minor roles in several school shows, has extensive background with theatre and performance.

Both Hnatyk and D’Angelo agree that being double cast can be difficult, as both of them must learn two different parts in the show: Nehebka, and a “chorus” background role. However, the complex situation provides both of them with extended opportunities to work together and learn from one another.

“I think it’s great seeing her have so much fun with a bigger role,” D’Angelo said. “She got cast because they saw something in her that was perfect for the role. She has showed no struggle in taking this show on, and I hope the best for her in future performances.”

In the future, Hnatyk hopes that Nehebka will boost her confidence in performance, and help her improve her vocal skills. Through this character, she has found a deep connection with the show, and her excitement to perform grows each day.

“Playing Nehebka means a lot to me,” Hnatyk said. “It’s my first named role in theatre, so it’s extremely exciting!”

Hnatyk stars as Nehebka on March 10th and 11th at 7 pm, as well as the school show on Wednesday afternoon. Based on the claims of Hnatyk and the rest of the cast, Aida will not disappoint.

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