Theater Student Feature: Joss Lau


Clarissa Suryapranata, Staff Writer

A member of the Arcadia High School (AHS) Advanced Theater Arts class, junior Joss Lau has been in a theater class every single year since seventh grade. Lau has mainly been a dancer in some of AHS’ past productions, Mamma Mia and Grease

Initially, Lau joined theater in middle school as her friends were doing the same. However, being in that class made her realize how many new friends she gained, and how the entirety of the class slowly became a second family to everyone. Most importantly, she noticed how much she liked to perform on stage, which ultimately made her decide to continue to be in theater classes. 

“I really enjoy going through the process of preparing for a performance,” said Lau. “Though it can be tiring at times, it all becomes very rewarding when I finally feel the thrill of standing up on a stage and performing in front of others.” 

In terms of expressing herself in front of an audience through acting, Lau stated that conveying the emotions of the character is important as it makes the audience feel as if she really is the character. This enables them to experience a variety of feelings as a reaction, making them empathize with the entire performance. 

“Through my acting, I’m able to paint a whole picture and create a whole story for others to see, though it may not be necessarily ‘real’ for me,” said Lau.

When asked about the director, Mr. Steven Volpe, Lau commented on how she likes that he uses a range of activities to help performers get immersed in their characters. Mr. Volpe tends to have them wear costumes and walk as their characters to help with their imagination. 

Lau claimed that having creativity and a sense of strictness are some important qualities to have in a good director. Leadership also plays a huge role; it keeps the cast together and on task as it is the director who often tells actors where to stand and what movements should be carried out in order to bring the whole production to life. 

Being in AHS’ highest level theater class is incredibly rewarding, but the talented performers often face some challenges. Lau shared that she has a hard time managing her time when it comes to late rehearsals when preparing for a performance, and the amount of school work that still needs to be done. According to Lau, coming home at 6 p.m. is considered very early, but rehearsals end way later than that most of the time, especially nearing the days of a show. 

“Most days, I go home at 7 p.m. or 9 p.m., so procrastinating on school work is not really an option,” stated Lau. “I’m still having a hard time adjusting, and I’ve been staying up very late doing school work or studying, so that has been my biggest enemy so far.”

As far as how the upcoming Cinderella production that will be taking place in March is coming along, Lau, who has the role of a dancer, is currently working on the choreography of a specific ball scene with waltzing and partner dancing. With this production being the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella, there will be more developed characters added. 

“It’s pretty similar to the typical storyline, but there will be some elements that are different to the well-known version,” explained Lau. 

Overall, Lau always encourages people to try new things because you never know that it might become a significant part of your life that you value. In theater, trying new things and stepping out of your comfort zone is essential to enable you to grow as an actor. 


Photo Courtesy of Clarissa Suryapranata