A Star in the Making: Jaeger Shines in the Fine Arts

Choir, News, Rotator, Spotlight, Theater — By on May 18, 2017 4:11 pm

Winners of the Maggie Ellison Theatre Awards (from left): Senior Excellence: Luke Moran, Best Newcomer: Alina Merlak, Outstanding Season: Stacey Jaeger, and Senior Excellence: Sam Krapfl pose with their director Tom Stephens.

By Brittney Darrow
You step out onto the stage into the spotlight. Your eyes aren’t adjusting and as you try to look out into the crowd you only see darkness. You get to your spot on stage and you can see the many patient faces staring back at you from the crowd. You feel comfortable because you have been doing this your entire life. Being on stage is second nature to you. Performing on stage is something Stacey Jaeger loves to do.

Jaeger, a senior, has been honored recently for many aspects of her talent in theater, speech, and choir. Last night, she was awarded the Maggie Ellison Award for Outstanding Season in Theater. Having lead roles in both the fall play and spring musical, Jaeger also directed Wait Until Dark in the winter.

Jaeger was invited to perform in the National Individual Event Showcase at the International Thespian Festival in June with her partner Luke Moran. She is an officer for Thespian Troupe 1470, an International Honor Thespian, and a Vice-President’s List Thespian Scholar.

Jaeger started performing when she was in fifth grade in the children’s Odyssey Theatre. Later on in middle school, she started participating in the community theater. She has been a part of the high school theater program all four years, performing in the musicals Aida, Footloose, Les Miserables, and The Drowsy Chaperone. Jaeger has played many different roles during her acting career, which include community theater. Her three favorite roles were Berthe in Pippin, Rona in and 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Drowsy in this year’s MVHS musical The Drowsy Chaperone. “I liked portraying these different characters because most of them had a lot of flexibility and I was able to do a lot with them,” Jaeger said.

Jaeger has also performed in many plays throughout her high school career, including Our Town, Bob: a Life in Five Acts, and Rabbit Hole. She read many scripts before selecting the play Wait Until Dark for the student-directed show. “We spent a lot of time on characterization,” Jaeger said of her directing experience.

Stacey Jaeger performs in the spring musical “The Drowsy Chaperone” in April. Photo by Sydney Hauser.

Jaeger has been a part of the choir and band programs at Mount Vernon for all four years, auditioning for All-State choir her sophomore, junior, and senior years. She made All-State her senior year and got the chance to sing with some of the best singers in Iowa. Being selected is a huge honor that not many high schoolers receive. “I had never sung in a choir like that,” Jaeger said. In choir, she was honored at the Fine Arts Award Night with the National School Choral Award.

Jaeger participated in four years of speech. During her sophomore year she went to All-State Speech for one act, non-performing, but was invited to perform as an upperclassman. During her junior year she went to the state thespian festival and performed with Nicole Margheim (’16). They received second in duet acting. Her senior year she received International Honor in duet acting with fellow senior Luke Moran.

Jaeger has not only been involved in fine arts in high school she also played basketball her freshman year and has played tennis all four years. “Being involved in sports and the fine arts program is fun because it is two different mindsets, but they are both relatively team activities,” she said. “I think everybody should try to be involved in the fine arts program because you might end up really liking it and you could be could at it. If you don’t like it, then you don’t have to continue to do it.” 

After high school Jaeger is planning on double majoring in history and theater. She wants to minor in museum studies and then go to grad school for library science. “Being a part of the fine arts program is very fun because you are always doing something different. You get to meet a variety of different people from all over,” Jaeger said.

“I have always looked up to Stacey and this year I got to perform with her and it couldn’t have been better,” said sophomore Sam White. Being a part of the many different fine arts programs offered at Mount Vernon Jaeger has met many new people and has filled a role in her real life as not only an exceptional performer, but as an exceptional person.



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