March-April 2019 | Parenting

Making Their Marks

Meet the winners of Bethesda Magazine’s 2019 Extraordinary Teen Awards

 

Photo by Edgar Artiga.

 

Keira DiGaetano

Senior, Richard Montgomery High School

Keira DiGaetano’s favorite moments are those when the students involved in a Richard Montgomery High School theater production gather before the curtain opens.

“There’s a feeling of camaraderie. You know that even if the show messes up, the people are going to be there to support you,” she says. “Everyone understands—whether you are there doing it for fun or it’s what you want to do in life—you are all there giving it 100 percent, and that’s a really great feeling.”

Passionate about all things theater, Keira has experimented with roles both on and off stage in school and local theater productions. She has designed costumes, acted, worked in lighting, directed productions and researched plays as a dramaturge, crafting insightful notes for playbills.

“I’m a big proponent of directors having experience in every sector,” says Keira, who lives in Rockville. “Simultaneously working on and off stage, I think it helps you build empathy. Having both those perspectives helps me communicate better.”

Keira says she likes how a production can create a platform to share ideas. “What I love about the theater is the space and energy makes you so comfortable to feel emotion,” says Keira, who plans to major in drama and English at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, in the fall.

At Bethesda’s Round House Theatre, Keira has worked with a current playwright on a production—a rare opportunity for a high school student. “She’s an intensely driven young woman. She has a vision,” Round House Literary Manager Gabrielle Hoyt says. “She wants to reach out and drink up the world.”