Stepping into the limelight

Sofia Gomez shares insight on the fall musical and what it means to be a Thespian.

Center stage. Sofia Gomez, junior, plays Miss Honey in the musical Matilda. This is her second musical, as she appeared in last falls Pirates of Penzance.

Joseph Murphy

Center stage. Sofia Gomez, junior, plays Miss Honey in the musical “Matilda”. This is her second musical, as she appeared in last fall’s “Pirates of Penzance”.

“Matilda” has arrived under the spotlight, after many rehearsals and practices. Sofia Gomez, junior, is a part of Thespians, a club advised by Annie Kaiser and Steve Beckingham and led by students. Acting as Miss Honey, Gomez is one of the leaders of the club. Thespians gives students a chance to be a part of a team to create entertainment and fun, which they hope to do in “Matilda.”

[Joseph Murphy]: How long have you been doing theater?

[Sofia Gomez]: I’ve been doing theater since I was four years old. I started doing it in London when I lived there. And then I moved back [West Linn] and I continued doing theater.

[JM]: So how long have you been doing theater for West Linn?

[SG]: So the first show that I did here was “Pirates of Penzance,” which was last year, where I played Mabel. That was my first show. I had been coming to see the shows here since I was in elementary school. I’ve always been really obsessed with all the shows here. I would come with my dad all the time, because he’s a big theater person too and he would just come and watch the shows [and] then when I went to high school, I [auditioned] and then I got cast.

[JM]: Why are you so into theater, to the point where you are at every show? 

[SG]: I just find it absolutely fascinating. Just everything about it because there’s so much work that goes into it. Not just the performers but the tech people too. They have to build a set, they have to do the lighting and sound. We have the orchestra pit who’s a huge part of the theater [program] and it’s just amazing and there’s costuming and makeup. There’s so many parts that just make up these incredible shows. I think it’s so amazing how just putting on a live performance can really bring so much joy to so many people and it’s also really thrilling. I think it’s amazing. You can just go out there and do your thing. You don’t get another try because it’s all live. I think that’s awesome.

[JM]: What aspect of theater do you enjoy the most and why?

[SG]: Ooh, that’s a good question. I feel like one of the aspects that I enjoy the most is the community. I feel like whenever you’re in a show with people obviously you have your cast, your ensemble, and the people that you’re putting on the show with and it’s just so amazing how you create those connections with people. I do work professionally outside of school to work with certain people in a show and then you auditioned for another show. Then some of those people that you met over there are in that same show with you and you just create such amazing connections and such amazing friendships. I’ve just met so many people from school and outside of school who have made me so happy and they’re amazing people. I feel like the community is just such a big important part of theater and without creating those connections, you would not be able to put on such an amazing show full of so much chemistry.

[JM]: What can you tell us about [“Matilda”]?

[SG]: I can tell you that it is a weird, twisted show. A lot of people walk into Matilda having a certain idea. Oh, it’s a cute show about, you know, this really smart girl and the stuff that she goes through but it’s quite twisted. There’s a lot of interesting themes that are, I wouldn’t say I would use the word mature. They’re a bit more mature, I feel like and it’s really exciting to do a show like that. Especially when people come in with a certain expectation or idea of what they’re about to see. It’s super exciting because every single character in the show is so big and exciting and I just can’t wait for people to see it. I think it’s going to be an amazing show and we have a really great cast. 

[JM]: What would you say to someone who hasn’t done [theater] before?

[SG]: I would say that [it] is a great opportunity to learn about the arts in several different aspects. Because you get a performance side, you get a tech theater side, and there’s so many different people who are a part of thespians. You also make a lot of connections, like Thespians is such a tight community, like everyone knows everyone and it’s just really exciting, especially when we take on new projects like shorts or the play and obviously the musical. You can feel the energy and it’s just such an exciting process. And when you get to be a part of that it’s just, it’s amazing. I love it so much. And I think that everyone who wants to join should get the chance to and we’re always open, so it’s awesome.

[JM]: Any other words you’d like to say?

[SG]: Come see “Matilda.”. I’m playing Miss Honey so come see Matilda. It’s gonna be awesome. I’m super excited. The cast is phenomenal. Everyone is incredibly talented and incredibly excited. It’s just going to make the show even better.


“Matilda” will premiere on Nov. 3 in the Performing Arts Center (PAC), with additional shows on Nov. 5 and Nov. 10-12.