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Falcon Quill

The student news site of Fort Worth Country Day

Falcon Quill

The student news site of Fort Worth Country Day

Falcon Quill

Living through the Bloopers in the Life of a Theater Girl

Natalie Bracken ’05
Olivia Kersh as Grover during Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief

“Sometimes, you just know when a kid is going to be a theater kid their whole life. Olivia was one of those kids,” Natalie Bracken ’05 said. 

Olivia Kersh ’24 is a performer. She has always been the life of the show with her incredible energy; she has racked up quite an impressive resumée of shows ever since she was in first grade. With that being said, she has also racked up countless funny stories and incidents from her time on and off stage. 

Kersh’s freshman year was a little unorthodox. The fall play was “13 Ways to Screw up Your College Interview.” The spring musical was right in the middle of Covid.

“It was stumbling along […] we were all in masks and it was just horrible,” Kersh said.

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Sophomore year was an adjustment, as current director Siouxsie Easter joined the FWCD family. The fall play was “Clue,” and Kersh was cast as Mrs. Peacock.

“For Clue, there’s this part where I have to scream whenever I come on [dragging a dead body]. And I was breaking my mic because I was screaming too loud… [but] it was just the perfect horror movie scream and I couldn’t resist,” Kersh said. 

“Oh my gosh. She was so funny and had the loudest scream […] but she is certainly not afraid to put herself out there, and that’s what I love about her. She’s very funny and outgoing.” Easter said. 

The spring musical, “Shrek,” was even crazier. 

“Shrek was just, unhinged; it was so fun and crazy,” Kersh said, fighting back laughter. 

Allie Cross ’24, who started stage managing during “Shrek,” remembered how nervous she was during her first Tech Week, and how Kersh cheered her up. 

“I was like, freaking out one day,” Cross said. “She was trying to figure out how to cheer me up, so she put on her Elf costume, which I had never seen before… And then she jump-scared me while I was in the booth. And I freaked out. I was screaming and everyone just looked up at the booth and it was awful because everyone was looking at us. But it made me feel a lot better.” 

Fall of her junior year, Kersh was cast as Helena in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Her co-star, Maya Marques ’26, reminisced on their shenanigans backstage, and how every time that the two boys playing Demetrius and Lysander, James Thomas ’24 and Nic Medaris ’23, ran off the stage together – whether it be during rehearsal or tech – they would hide in the curtains and jump out and scare them, causing the girls to cackle. 

The spring musical was really special to Kersh, as a lot of her senior friends were soon graduating. Kersh said that she really loved the whole “Lightning Thief” cast because of their close friendships, their jokes, and all of the laughter.

“In ‘Lightning Thief,’ there’s the song ‘Good Kid’ and it’s just a really heartbreaking moment on the stage, and we were messing around offstage, just totally acting like fools during this really serious moment, and somebody hit the curtain, and the curtain almost came down,” Kersh said. “And we all got so scared and then it was like, completely quiet, and nobody moved backstage for like five minutes.”

“She ended up being perfect for the role [of Grover]. She just really got his personality down and she really added a lot to the character,” Easter said. 

Kersh said that it was one of her favorite shows that she’s ever done.

Senior year has brought up a lot of emotions. It was her last play at FWCD, but also her last play with a lot of her friends. “Peter and the Starcatcher” – a prelude to the classic “Peter Pan” – was cast, coming full circle after her eighth grade play, “Peter Pan.” Kersh was cast as Molly Aster – the female lead. 

“We were in the wings and the cast was split up and I remember that the people from the other side of the stage came over to our side. And we were like, ‘What are you doing over here?’ and they were like, ‘Are you being stagist?’ And we were like, ‘Absolutely.” And we would have super big favorites depending on what color tails people had,” Kersh said. 

Then “Matilda Jr.” came around this spring. Kersh has been cast as Miss Honey, and is excited, but sad to be performing in her last ever FWCD production. 

“Theater is a therapy, and I don’t think people understand [that] theater changed me for the better, and it helped me through times when I didn’t think I was gonna make it…. It’s just really good to have this family, and it really is a family. It’s such a good place,” Kersh said.

Kersh has also tried her hand at writing plays. Her play “Sleep” was performed at the 2022 Festival of the Kid. “Sleep” was one of the 25 performances chosen out of the 600 submissions. 

She has also been nominated for the Slaughter Family Arts Award for Excellence in Monologue Performance.

Aside from the arts, Kersh is also a three sport athlete. She runs cross country in the fall, plays basketball in the winter, and softball in the spring. 

Kersh is very active in the community and serves on the board of the Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition as the Student Member.

Kersh also volunteers with Camp Barnabas and helps adults with severe down syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy. She says that she has loved being able to help them communicate in their own way, a lot of which is through acting. 

She plans to major in child development and specialize in teaching those with down syndrome and autism. But if that doesn’t work out, she is thinking of majoring in agricultural studies; specifically, the modification of cows, horses, and other cattle. 

“I just think that genes are cool.” Kersh said. 

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About the Contributor
McCartie McPadden, Reporter
Hi! I’m McCartie and I am a Quillie (so it’s my first year on the Quill). I plan to manage girls basketball and softball. I love reading (specifically banned books), watching TV (specifically “Gilmore Girls”), and talking with my friends. I am excited to embark on my  high school career and be free of Middle School restrictions.  [email protected]
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