Brainerd High School senior Matt Capelle thought he could not act.
He was wrong.
Capelle landed the lead role in "Our Town," the high school's fall play, for his debut acting role. He has a major role in the spring play, "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Capelle's expressive emotions and hard work ethic won him the Fine Arts Student of the Week honor.
Capelle's work ethic stems from his dedication to his dancing through Music General. He has been dancing for 10 years. Being in dance has helped Capelle with acting, particularly with performing on stage in front of an audience.
"I always get nervous before a performance," he said. "Once I got on stage (for my first play) I relaxed. It is nice knowing that you're not alone up there. It (being on stage) became natural."
Before Capelle joined drama this school year, a couple of his friends in drama said they loved it and told him to join. He always declined, saying, "I can't act." Last fall, he finally gave it a shot.
He tried out for "Our Town" and got the lead role of George.
"I still remember the day," Capelle said of learning he got the role. "The drama people really get excited on this day and they told me I got the lead. I was shocked."
Capelle wanted to make sure he did his best. He practiced every day and studied his role as much as he could.
Art focus: Drama
Art activities: Drama, one-act and multi-act plays, a cappella choir, Windfall and Herd of Bananas
Favorite subjects: Advanced Placement biology and television productions
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Being selected for Minnesota All-State Choir
Artist most admired: Billy Joel
Favorite movies: The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy
Favorite TV program: "Family Guy"
Favorite song: "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant"
Parents: LaMar and Kay Gunnarson of Nisswa and Vern and Jami Capelle of Little Falls
"I was pleased with my performances," he said. "I wanted to keep going."
Capelle kept going when he was chosen to act in one-act plays. He played three children, James, Robert and Lala, in "Nina in the Morning."
Acting in the one-act play was different from his first role. Capelle said he went from playing an average teenage boy to playing three children in a strange play. He didn't have as many lines to memorize in the one-act play.
He will play a different role again in the spring play as Oberon in "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Capelle said the role is fairly large and he has a lot of monologues to memorize.
Even though Capelle has only been in drama for a year, so far he enjoys playing parts that have a serious and a funny side.
"This tests your ability to go from one side to another," he said. "Right now, there isn't a role I wouldn't want to play."
Capelle said one skill he has to work on is memorizing lines. His strongest skill is stage presence. When he played George in "Our Town" he had a few emotions to act out.
Alisa Madsen, senior, mock trial: Madsen's performance as a defendant in region finals in Mock Trial earned her a perfect score of 10 from the judges. "Madsen was very believable and struck the right tone of the innocent defendant," said her mock trial adviser.
Ali Pieri, senior, Fifth Street Journal: The Fifth Street Journal adviser said, "Ali has done a wonderful job as this year's Fifth Street Journal sports editor. Her layouts have shown consistent improvement. With a friendly, upbeat personality, Ali makes class fun."
Mandy Copa, senior, a cappella choir: Copa has been in concert chorale for one year and a cappella for two years, where she also is a soloist and the alto two section leader. Copa was selected to be in the Central Lakes Conference All-Conference Choir and she is in independent voice study. She has received superior ratings at the Region 8AA solo and ensemble contest.
Meghan Carnes, junior, Brainonian: The Brainonian adviser said, "Meghan has been on staff as a photographer for the yearbook. She has a can-do attitude and has been responsible for many of the photos in this year's book."
Jennifer Dens, junior, Symphonic Band: Dens is a two-year member of Symphonic Band and a member of the Central Lakes College All-Conference Band on oboe. She has received a superior rating at the solo and ensemble contest.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5851.
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