By Lorin Enns
Kaite Lancaster has always had a lot on her plate, but she never lets anything slow her down. As an overachiever, she made the decision early on in her freshman year of high school to take classes online as well as at school, giving her the opportunity to finish the entirety of her “freshmore year” in one fell swoop.
“Most of my friends were in the grade above me,” Lancaster said. “I wanted to have the opportunity to graduate with all of them. I wanted to get to college sooner so I could pursue what I wanted earlier in life.”
As Vice President of Drama club, along with her responsibilities as a Theatre IV and an STO (state thespian officer), theatre has taken up much of Kaite’s time in her final high school year. Early on this school year, she was cast as Beth in the theatre department’s fall production of “Little Women,” an experience she looks fondly upon.
“I loved having the opportunity to play Beth because it gave me a chance to play a more dramatic role,” Lancaster said. “I tend to gravitate more towards young, comedic roles, so it was a good chance to push and stretch myself beyond the limits.”
Balancing volunteering at the St. Rose Hospital and working at Capriotti’s Sandwich shop, she was also chosen to be a student director of this year’s musical “Bells are Ringing,” along with her longtime friend, senior Cami Keenan. Both Kaite and Cami assisted Mrs. Burrows, theatre director, in the blocking, choreography, memorization, and polishing of the show. Lancaster’s responsibilities, while difficult to bear, pushed her to new limits and gave her useful experience in directing a show, skills she held onto when casting and directing her own ten-Minute play in April.
“It was definitely tough trying to balance two jobs and the musical at the same time, but Mrs. Burrows was very understanding and worked with my schedule,” she said. “I was still able to help a ton, and it was a fun experience that I will never forget. It was surreal to be able to direct a ten-minute play; I liked learning the other side of the table and letting the play be my own.”
Lancaster plans on spending the summer at home working as a nanny of two before leaving for college in the fall. Hoping to become a full-time nurse someday, attending nursing school at the University of Nevada, Reno gives her an opportunity to stay in-state but still experience going away for college, which she’s been looking forward to for a long time.
“Kaite’s been a super sweet girl and has so many amazing qualities, and UNR is so lucky to have someone like her attending in the fall,” Cami Keenan, senior, said. “She makes everyone smile and feel good about themselves. In five years, I hope she’s starting her career with nursing because she’s incredibly smart, so it will be a piece of cake! No matter what path she ends up on, she will do incredible things.”