From twists to tech week

Annabelle Monahan on switching things up senior year


Monahan as a character in “Check Please,” a virtual production our school put on.

For the entirety of high school, senior Annabelle Monahan has been, among other things, a varsity cheerleader. Since making the squad freshman year, Monahan has had experience as a flyer, base and back throughout the years. She was also the team’s captain. Similarly, Monahan has been a member of the track team and manager of the wrestling team since freshman year. It wasn’t until this year, however, that she started something new: acting.

“I just got a gut feeling,” Monahan said. “I was like, ‘Go try it. Let’s see what happens.’”

Unlike many students, Monahan had no experience acting before joining the cast of “Check Please,” the school’s first virtual play, which followed two students searching for love in a virtual environment. Monahan appeared as a female date for the male lead. To prepare, she relied on help from an aunt who had been a theater major in college. 

“It was a little bit nerve-wracking because when we went into our first rehearsal, everyone would be there and start talking and sharing who they are,” Monahan said. “Everybody had background experience and I was like ‘Oh, I have no experience. But I’m here so we’re just going to make it work.’” 

Her inspiration to try out for the play stemmed from quarantine. Like many others, Monahan watched a lot of movies and television as the months dragged on and was inspired by the skill she saw on screen. After some research, she started thinking about incorporating acting into her own life. When she discovered the school would be putting on a play, she knew it was something she had to do. Looking forward, Monahan now sees acting as something that will continue to be in her life.

“I would definitely like to continue [acting] in college,” Monahan said. “I’m kind of dipping my toes in it right now and starting to experience it, and I want to continue that.”

Coming from an athletic background ultimately benefited Monahan. She knew how to be prompt and stick to a schedule, although it did take her a bit to note the difference between a “practice” and “rehearsal.”

“Doing all the activities I do has made me more well-rounded,” Monahan said. “I feel like having all these experiences is definitely going to help me connect with others in the future.”

Monahan’s “gut feeling” seems to have served her well. After a positive experience with “Check Please,” Monahan was  cast as a teenager named Logan in the school’s next play, “Double Double.” Next year, Monahan will be attending James Madison University (JMU) and currently plans to major in Computer Science.  

“I highly encourage anyone to try something new,” Monahan said. “You never know what is going to happen unless you try. With theater, I just decided to do it and I love it and I’m going to do more in the future with it because it’s just so much fun.”