Born to act, WLHS freshman lands large role in new musical

Olivia Klugman, freshman, was born into the world of acting, literally. Klugman’s grandparents were both actors. Her grandfather, Jack Klugman, starred in movies such as “The Odd Couple” and “Twelve Angry Men.” Her parents met at an acting camp and her entire family is very theater oriented.

“I really enjoy acting because I feel it is a good way to convey emotions and tell a story,” Klugman said.

Klugman has been acting since she was young. She has been involved in Krayon Kids, a musical theater company, for seven years, The play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and in various drama classes. In November Klugman landed her first role in a play as one of the main supporting actors in a new musical, “13.”

“I’m one of the only actors in the play who doesn’t have a lot of acting experience and I feel like I’m developing a lot of my acting skills,” Klugman said.

The new musical is about a 12 year-old boy whose parents recently split up and is forced to move to Appleton, IN. He befriends a girl over the summer and they become close, but after school starts he realizes she isn’t one of the cool or popular people. He is about to have his Bar Mitzvah and has to quickly make friends to invite. He struggles to decide whether he should stay friends with the unpopular girl he likes a lot, or become popular.

Klugman’s character, Lucy, is in the popular group and she wants to become the ‘queen bee’ of the school. Lucy is one of the leaders of her friends group and she is very jealous of another popular girl she is friends with.

“Lucy is one of the mean, popular girls. She’s very manipulative,” Klugman said. “I don’t relate to her. I think I’m more like the main character.”

Klugman is the only WLHS student in the cast, but Evan Shely, eighth grader at Athey Creek Middle School, is also in the cast. The play features a rock score from Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown that is played by an all-student rock band.

“I really like meeting all the new people and getting to spend time with them,” Klugman said. “I’m enjoying it and I want to spend more time doing plays.”
Klugman and the rest of the cast have been rehearsing every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday since mid-November. The musical is being produced by Staged Musical Theater Company at the Sanctuary Theater in Portland. It opens on Feb. 9 and runs through Feb. 25. Tickets are $18 – $24 and are available on