By: Betsy Reason
Imagine being a teenager cast in a professional theater production and performing in shows every day of the week.
Add in schoolwork, extracurricular activities and family time, along with relying on Mom or Dad to drop you off or pick you up for every performance.
Auditioning for a big show, such as “Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which runs through Nov. 19, at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is definitely a big commitment.
But Noblesville’s Kate Boice makes it work, and she’s made it work over and over and over.
She’s performing the entire run of the show, which opened Oct. 5 and runs through Nov. 19.
That’s more than 53 live performances in front of mostly sold-out audiences who dine before they watch the show.
Mark and Kristen Boice try to attend their daughter’s show as often as they can. But with more than four dozen performances, Kate Boice said, “It’s impossible to come to all of them although they would love to be able to see all of them, because they enjoy this show and love the cast.”
The 16-year-old Noblesville High School sophomore said being in a Beef & Boards show while attending school five days a week “has (actually) worked out well.” She said, “It does take a lot of organization to stay on top of the workload and being intentional with communicating with my teachers. They have been very supportive and encouraging, which has been helpful in managing school work and extra-curricular activities.
At school, she’s in NHS Singers varsity mixed show choir, is a Thespian Troupe officer and is co-communications director for Bring Change to Mind (a mental health organization). Outside of school, she serves on the Noblesville Mayor’s Youth Council, is a certified scuba diver and enjoys traveling and spending time with her three dogs, family and friends. Then there is Conner Prairie, where she is a youth volunteer in 1836 costume. “I love working with the children who come to experience it,” said Boice, who is also co-captain of an Indiana State Fair Sheep-to-Shawl spinning/weaving competition team at Conner Prairie.
During her school’s fall break, she didn’t get to travel, but that’s OK, she said. “Depending on the week, I have eight to nine shows. So, we stayed here, and I did some fun things with some friends, like the pumpkin patch and dinner and spent time with my family. It was nice to not juggle school and the show schedule.”
This isn’t the first time she’s performed at Beef & Boards, or in “Joseph.” She was in “Joseph” when she was 8 years old with her older sister, Ali Boice, now a Legacy Christian School senior.
“It was one of my favorite experiences and really started my love of theater,” said Boice, who saw her sister acting in Christian Youth Theater Indy and thought it looked like fun.
“Being in ‘Joseph’ for the first time was absolutely magical,” Boice said. “My sister and I were … in awe of the entire production. I always loved the movie growing up and would watch my favorite songs over and over on repeat.”
She is thrilled to return as a teenager in the production. “The costumes, choreography and music are like a never-ending dance party. I am honored and thrilled to be a part of this show again and get to be in the whole run.” As choir captain, she’s in every performance, while three children’s choirs rotate performances. Her job is to ensure the children in the choir make it onstage and in their spots on time and ready for their cues. She is available to answer their questions, offer encouragement and help them with any challenges. “I enjoy working with kids and watching them gain a love for theater and grow.”
Plus, she gets to be a part of her favorite musical number, “Song of the King,” dressed as a cow alongside the adults. “I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity,” she said.
It’s always special to be at Beef & Boards. She loves working with the directing and production team, crew and actors.
One of her favorite aspects of Beef & Boards is the closeness of the stage to the audience, allowing the actors to make deep connections with the audience and fellow classmates.
“I feel so grateful to be in a professional atmosphere where I feel valued and can grow myself both as an actor and as a person.”
Boice has performed in more than 22 productions, including playing Jane Banks in “Mary Poppins” last summer at Beef & Boards. (Actor Eddie Curry, artistic director at Beef & Boards, played her father, Mr. Banks, in the show.) Other favorite roles were Tiny Tim in “A Christmas Carol” at Indiana Repertory Theatre, “because of the story and the actors.” She said, I always went every year with my family to the show. It was extra special to be cast in it and have my family come see the production.”
In fall 2022, she taught herself Hungarian for the role of Hunyak in NHS’s fall musical, “Chicago: Teen Edition,” her first and only high school musical. Boice said, “It helped stretch me as an actor, and the choreography was so much fun.”
She said, “And I loved the “Music Man,” “Matilda” and “Mean Girls” at Civic Theatre (in Carmel) because of the incredible dancing and singing. They were very fun shows.”
What does she like most about performing?
“I love to learn and grow,” Boice said. “Each show challenges me to try to improve and expand my skills. I really enjoy the whole experience, from rehearsals to bringing the characters to life and connecting to other characters and seeing the audiences’ experience of it.”
She loves the “Joseph” musical. “I grew up listening to music, so it has a special place in my heart. I have always wanted to be in this show, because I grew up watching the movie and loved it.”
With two-and-a-half more years of high school, has Boice thought about continuing her acting career? “RIght now, I am still exploring and staying curious about what I want to do as a career,” she said. Boice is considering studying Psychology because she said, “I really love working with children and want to specialize in pediatrics.” She is, however, considering Musical Theatre. “I feel passionate about bringing stories to life through music, acting and choreography.”
She loves the singing and dancing on stage and connecting with the audience.
It’s when the show ends is the hardest part. “I always feel so grateful for the relationships built and memories made. Often, you get close to the cast and crew, and I miss them when it’s over.”
-Betsy Reason writes about people, places and things in Hamilton County. Contact The Times Editor Betsy Reason at firstname.lastname@example.org.