When Hannah Stilwell ’23 speaks about the arts, her eyes light up and her smile grows wide.
A Grade 11 IB music student, Hannah has taken a keen interest in the arts for as long as she can remember. “I tend to lean toward the music side of the performing arts, because that’s where I got my training – when I was eight, I starred in Upstage Studio’s musical production of Annie,” said Hannah. “I started taking voice lessons and choral singing when I was seven years old, so singing really has a special place in my heart.”
But singing isn’t Hannah’s only artistic talent, she also plays the flute, piano, and percussion! “Hannah is talented and motivated beyond reproach," stated Jeff Smith, Director of Visual and Performing Arts at King's-Edgehill School. "She is a cornerstone of the School music programme.”
The first performance Hannah was involved in at KES was the Junior School production of Frozen, where she played the role of Elsa. “I’ll never forget, but after the show, younger students were coming up to me and asking for photos with Anna (Lucy Goddard ‘23) and I,” she recounted. “Seeing other people appreciate my hard work made me feel special and reinforced why I came to KES – to pursue performing arts and take it a step farther.”
Since then, Hannah has appeared in The Musical Revue, Almost Maine, and most recently, Heathers. She is also engaged in the performing arts outside of School as a member of the Cantatrice Ensemble Girls’ Choir, singing second soprano, and Neptune Theatre’s Youth Performance Company (YPCo). “I participated in my first boot camp with YPCo in the summer of 2019 and attended several drop-in classes,” said Hannah.
Recently, classmate Emma Toope ‘24 approached Hannah, suggesting that she audition for a YPCo show. After some thought, she reached out to schedule an audition for the upcoming performance of Little Women. Needless to say, the auditions went well, and Hannah landed the roles of Knight, a member of the Hummel family, ensemble, and is an understudy for the roles of Clarissa and Miss Kirk.
Little Women, which was initially set to hit the stage at the end of April, ended up being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The show got pushed until July, so that took some pressure off in terms of balancing priorities,” Hannah stated.
Balance is important. In addition to her involvement in the arts, Hannah is also a member of the KES prep swim team and competes in meets around the province at various times throughout the year.
Be sure to catch Hannah and Emma in the upcoming production of Little Women from July 19-24, 2022.
Daniel KimbleyCommunications and Marketing Manager