BRISTOL - Itâ€™s not very often that a student is involved in every single production put on during their time in high school
Kevin Michaud, a Bristol Central senior, is being honored with the Great Eight Award, which is given to students who have been a part of all eight theater shows from their freshman year to their senior year.
â€śItâ€™s happened maybe five times over the past 10 years,â€ť said Lindsey DiPietro, English teacher and drama director. â€śItâ€™s a very special thing to get in as a freshman because they are usually small casts of nine to 12 people or so. Itâ€™s a pretty great accomplishment.â€ť
Michaud received a figure eight with the name of each show he performed in painted on it to mark the honor after his last show this year.
â€śAbove everything, Kevin is one of the kindest and most gentleâ€¦ not even just students, but people, that Iâ€™ve ever known. From his first audition, we fell in love with him,â€ť DiPietro said.
In his first play called â€śThe Survivor,â€ť Michaud portrayed the youngest in a group of boys trying to escape the Nazi occupation.
â€śHe wasnâ€™t always the lead. He wasnâ€™t always our best actor who gets the best parts, but he was the kid who could play any part that we gave him,â€ť DiPietro said.
Through-out high school, Michaud played the Mayor of Munchkin City in â€śThe Wizard of Oz,â€ť Leaf Coneybear in the â€ś25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,â€ť a reporter in â€śInherit the Wind,â€ť a greaser guy, Doody, in â€śGrease,â€ť and was in the ensemble of â€śLittle Shop of Horrors.â€ť
In his final show, â€śThe Addams Family,â€ť he played the father, Gomez Addams.
â€śTeachers are still saying they canâ€™t believe how good Kevin was. People are still complimenting him,â€ť DiPietro said.
Molly Watstein, one of Michaudâ€™s classmates and fellow cast member, has played parts and often co-led in seven of the eight shows that he performed in. Frequently their characters would be related as husband and wife, father and daughter or mother and son.
â€śHeâ€™s really passionate about acting. He always wants to make sure that the shows are the best that they can be,â€ť Watstein said.
Her favorite performance with Michaud was the recent â€śThe Addams Familyâ€ť production. She played Wednesday Addams, the daughter of Michaudâ€™s character.
â€śThereâ€™s a scene where he sings to her a song about growing up. Kevin and I both as seniors were pretty emotional about that song during the scene. We really felt that it was kind of a good final moment to share the stage,â€ť Watstein said.
Michaud is not only known for his skill within his roles.
He would learn everyoneâ€™s lines and know each play inside and out, help at all of the tech builds and help paint the sets. If anyone ever needed help learning lines or auditions with music, he was always eager to volunteer or give them a hand, Watstein said. He used his own experience to help underclassmen on auditions and making their parts more realistic.
Both Michaud and Watstein also served as vice president and president, respectively, of the drama club for the past two years, which involved fundraising and organizing - making an impact beyond the stage.
â€śItâ€™s pretty amazing, seeing him from that young 14 year old into the young man he is now,â€ť DiPietro said. â€śAnything youâ€™d need, he would do it. Heâ€™s committed to becoming the best possible performer that he can be. He is unstoppable.â€ť
Michaud will be majoring in Music Production and Theater at Western Connecticut State University next year.