The making of a lead

Senior Patrick LaGue’s journey to the spotlight and his growth on the way there.


Sky Barratt, Staff Writer

Going to see a live show at KCC is always exciting. You purchase your tickets, take your seat, and watch the warm glow on the thick blue curtain as the lights begin to dim. The curtains are drawn open and often, senior Patrick LaGue stands front and center… or whatever character he happens to be playing. Be it Albert Peterson in “Bye Bye Birdie,” Harold Hill in “Music Man,” Charles Condomine in “Blithe Spirit,” or one of the many other characters he’s become over the years.

LaGue started theatre when he was when he was in fifth grade. He had seen friends, cousins, and brother in CYT (Christian Youth Theater) and KCC shows and eventually decided he kind of  liked the idea of theater.

His first CYT show was Peter Pan. He signed up, auditioned, was scared to death, got a callback, and anxiously waited two days to see what his role would be.

“After countless clicks of the reload button on my computer, the cast list came out. I scrolled down and say my name next to ‘Twin 1.’ I was so happy,” LaGue said.

Weeks of rehearsals later, it was time to put the show on.

“Then opening night came- the night that really solidified my love for theatre,” LaGue said. “The lights came up and the curtain opened and I stopped in time. I stopped and realized, ‘Yep. This is where I belong.’”

And belong he certainly does. In total, LaGue has been in 17 shows and if you’ve ever seen him perform, he shines. When he steps onto stage, LaGue seems to vanish and in his place, a new character is brought to life, and often times that character is a lead.

“Being a lead is awesome- but so is every part. I really mean that,” LaGue said. “Every part I’ve played has been a blast- even when I’ve had the smallest part you can get.”

His humble attitude makes LaGue a leader behind the scenes and not just in front of the audience.

“It [being a lead] made me really realize the impact that I had on the people around me. I thought about how I have always looked up to the kids who play leads and how when they were mean and snobby or uptight, it made me really mad. Being a lead has taught me how to be the leader I want to see in other people,” LaGue said. “Now, that being said, I am in no way perfect! Ha! And I have caught myself being exactly the kind of leader that frustrates me countless times.”

Theatre, being a major part of LaGue’s life, has shaped a lot of who he is, not limited to his leadership skills.

“It has taught me to smile more, to laugh harder, to be friendlier, and to be sillier,” LaGue said. “It has taught me to soak in the good that is all around. You only get to do a show once and and you only have each cast once, so you have to take each moment and make the most of it. It’s very similar to life- in life you only have each day once and the people you’re around may not always be around, so you’ve got to make the most of it.”

Theatre has also helped him grow in his relationship with God. For instance, CYT does worship with the cast before each rehearsal and show.  

“I can’t tell you how many times I have just felt so free and at home when I am worshiping with CYT kids. Theater has helped teach me to worship God how I feel is right without holding back,” LaGue said. “God has definitely used the people in shows that I have been in, to speak to me – which is SO awesome! God has used theater countless times to show just how small I am and how big He is. Because when I am on stage and I fail and I make a fool of myself, it really does remind me that I am so not worthy of anything, but that He is bigger than any failure and that His grace gives me the strength to keep going.”

These shows also bring people together. Through hard times, through good times, and throughout the show, the cast stay are there to offer a shoulder to lean on. They form a family.

“Tarzan was a show that changed my life and the lives of everyone involved. A day before the show, we all were informed that our cast member who was playing Tarzan had passed away in a car accident,” LaGue said. “It was the worst news and was the hardest two weeks of shows that I’ve ever been a part of. But something happened over those two weeks. That cast became the most close knit family and the most supportive group. Everyone was there for everyone – and I mean that in the most literal way. We all hurt together and through that hurt, we were able to unite and give it all to God and worship together with such aching and yet such beauty.”

He continues, “My closest friendships have sprouted out of theater. Theater friends are the most wild and crazy, and yet the most true and genuine friends.  The KCC theater family is just that – a family, which is so cool, and so rare. Because it is so small, the people in it are able to get to know everyone and become close with so many people.”

Ask anyone in the theatre department and they can attest to that.

Memories are made, embarrassing stories created, bonds formed, and life lessons learned. LaGue has been around to see this happen throughout all of his 17 shows.

“Through theater,” He says, “I have been able to be the silly, ridiculous, weird person that I am – and it’s awesome.”