Thanks…and Rock On! (a note from Briana)

by Briana Bower

When I was in just fourth grade, I was constantly singing at the top of my lungs–my family would often tell me I had a “built-in microphone,” and so I decided I needed to put that to good use. Fortunately, around that time, the most inspiring woman entered my life–Heather Schneemann. She decided to throw me up on stage because she saw things in me I never saw in myself, and boy am I glad she did. Shortly after, another cool dude came along–Dave Middlin. Both this unstoppable team and becoming extremely obsessed with the movie “School of Rock” made me realize I would without a doubt perform for the rest of my life. (How cool is it that’s the show I got to end with?

All throughout middle and high school, drama camp was the highlight of my year. Those three weeks came and went so quickly and as I grew older, I knew I wanted to be involved all summer instead of just for one camp. How I would do this I wasn’t sure, but again, Heather gave me a chance. I had never directed anything before, but she trusted me at first with small tasks and responsibilities that slowly grew larger and larger until Kailey Schneemann and I co-directed for the first time. I was hooked, and from then on started directing solo.

Going from being a camper for years eventually to a staff member with Center Stage is an opportunity I am so grateful to have had. These two leaders helped me grow into a leader myself, and thanks to the entire Center Stage family I have constant encouragement through good times and bad. I have developed life long relationships that I know will never die.

This crazy, supportive family took a chance on me and are the reason I keep going. It is a crew unlike any other with a company who only wants to do good in the world, work hard, and play harder. Do yourself a favor and join this team be it as a camper, an intern, or eventually a director or choreographer. I promise, you will not regret it.

So now I’m off to continue my theatre journey in Chicago. I’m chasing the dream that Center Stage made me believe could become a reality. I have no clue what is to come, but I am certain I always have my Michigan family with me in spirit.

Thank you Heather, Dave, Susan, Kelly, Daisy, Christina, Angie, Stacy, Jeff, Kailey, Rachel, Aaron, Kathleen, Paige, Interns, and anyone else who has committed their time here. Keep on doing what you love and continue to appreciate each other for connections like these come around once in a lifetime.


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