Livonia Franklin High School Theater program shines as they pave the way for success

Local 4′s Kim DeGiulio takes you to Franklin High School where they have a lot of 4Frenzy winners and runners up.

Livonia, MI – Local 4′s Kim DeGiulio takes you to Franklin High School where they have a lot of 4Frenzy winners and runners up.

  • Theater: 7 winners, 3 runners up
  • Choir: 2 winners, 1 runner up

Winners: Colleen Meyer (Theater Director & Costuming), Marilee Olsen (Choir Director), Jake Turland (Male Lead & Supporting Actor), Sophia Facione (Female Lead), Lilliana Williams (Dancer), Camron Rost (Male Non-Featured Actor), Kaitlyn Thibault (Stage Manager), Brittany Dimmit (Theater Costuming), and Marian Petrie (Soprano).

Runners Up: Tarrell Pearson (Male Lead), Camron Rost (Choir Favorite Senior), Robert Fitzgibbon (Male Supporting Actor), and Jolee Janda (Stage Manager).

Teamwork

Colleen Meyer, who for the past 11 years has run the Franklin Players theater program, said one of the best parts about theater is there’s a place for everyone.

“Theater is so much more than just being on stage,” said Meyer. “The amount of effort that it takes to put the show on involves so many people, and it requires so many different kinds of talent and abilities.”

Between cast and crew Meyer is typically working with between 80-100 students, and it is the team effort of these students that has allowed their program to be successful.

Dedication

Soprano Marian Petrie, said she’s happy to be at a school that has such a big theater department and great choirs. And she has only good things to say about her drama teacher.

“She’s fantastic. Everything is perfect in our shows. She’s loved by her students and for the past 11 years has produced spectacular shows for this community,” Petrie said.

Marilee Olsen, Choir Director winner, said that Meyer has the vision that drives the shows.

“Colleen Meyer has built a team that works well together, but the magic is her. She is tireless about chasing down every detail. No detail is too small for her to overlook,” Olsen said.

Olsen said her high school did not have a great music program, so she has strived throughout her career to giver her students what she didn’t have.

“It’s important for choirs and the cast to feel the connection and power that comes from singing together before a performance,” she said.

A Big Production

Both Meyer and Olsen give their team’s production of Anastasia many accolades.

“It was an extremely difficult and complex production,” said Meyer. “Our students and staff really powered through many challenges.”

“I feel like everyone was like, oh, Anastasia is hard? We’re all gonna rise up. So, we all put in the work and we all just had a lot of fun with it, too,” said Sophia Facione, the lead actress who played Anastasia.

Meyer said Facione “would bring me to tears every day when she would be up there performing and singing.”

The students, staff, Tech Directors James Mayne and Sherry Green, and even alumni that came back to help are truly a testament to the group effort that went into these shows, Meyer added.

“Any theatre production is truly a culmination of the efforts of so many people, and at Franklin I am surrounded by some of the best in the field,” she said.

Career Goals

Facione plans to continue her theater education when she heads to college this fall.

And Stage Manager Kaitlyn Thibault is headed to Eastern Michigan University to continue doing what she loves - working behind the scenes.

“I really just fell in love with the school and I applied for their program and they gave me a scholarship to go there for the theater program,” she said.

It’s clear this program is paving the futures for these talented students. We wish them the best of luck!

Click Here for a complete list of all of our Spring 4Frenzy Fan Choice winners.

We would like to thank our sponsors, Detroit Area Honda Dealers and MSU Federal Credit Union for their support!


About the Authors:

Katlyn, a senior at MSU, is an intern in the Creative Services Department.

Donna is a Creative Services producer.