To Broadway and back again
KINGMAN – Walt Disney once said “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Shai Weaver has dreamed of being on Broadway, and now she can say she’s done it, and she plans to do it again.
Lee Williams’ Weaver has returned for her senior year after spending two weeks in New York City working with the best Broadway has to offer.
“It was exhilirating,” Weaver said. “I felt like I belonged.”
Weaver was one of 60 students selected to attend the Open Jar Institute internship in New York City. During the five day internship, she worked with Jeff Whiting, the original Peter Pan for Disney cruises, Jack
Sipple from Newsies, and so many other Broadway stars.
“It was all just so surreal ... to be in the same room as these people,” Weaver said.
Weaver said she was so nervous, she threw up the first day. However, she had nothing to be nervous about.
Her chaperone while in New York said to Weaver: “I see something in you that I haven’t seen in any of these Open Jar kids.”
And Weaver has recieved several offers from colleges due to her potential and skill.
She is keeping her options open, but like many artists before her and many more to come, she dreams of Juilliard.
“I’m looking through a whole list,” Weaver said. “There are a lot of options.”
Between workshops and Broadway plays, which she said of the ones she saw, “Spongebob” was the best, Weaver had plenty of time to tour colleges and take in the sights of New York City.
Weaver said her favorite place was the 9/11 Memorial.
“I don’t think my generation appreciates what happened,” Weaver said.
Weaver was only one month old when the towers fell, but despite not remembering the event, seeing the waterfall at ground zero, the etched in names, had a profound impact on her.
“It was big for my dad, too,” Weaver said.
Weaver’s father was with her the entire two weeks they spent in New York.
Weaver said when she was younger, she asked her father if they could go to New York when she was 16. While leaving New York, her father turned to her and said: “We came to New York when you were 16, and it wasn’t because of me. It was because of you.”
“He’s my biggest supporter,” Weaver said with a smile. “I think he learned a lot about himself (during the trip) which is good.”
Weaver knows she has what it takes. She knows it is possible to make her big dreams come true.
“Small town life does not stop big city dreams,” Weaver said. “Passion should fuel everything you do ... the whole meaning of life is to be happy.”
Kingman residents will have plenty of opportunities to see Weaver perform throughout the year. She has a role in Beale Street theater’s “Death of a Salesman,” will be directing the LWHS studio series in about three weeks, and will be auditioning for as many shows in town as she can manage.