Playing the lead in ten Niles West theatre shows, junior Sarah Zasso has already made an impact on the theatre program at Niles West. She has taken the stage by storm, putting her all into each and every character she has portrayed.
Zasso credits her accomplishments to her family, who have been with her since the beginning and always pushed her to be the best she could be.
“I have the most amazing and supportive family out there,” Zasso said. “My family and parents are so intelligent, hardworking, driven, and good; I strive to be have as amazing as they are. My brother is always pushing me academically, and I was actually inspired by my sister to do theatre. She was a lead in many shows at West, so when I was little, I would look forward to seeing her perform. She inspired me, and I hope I can inspire others who see theatre at West.”
Before theatre, Zasso competitively danced from when she was three all the way to the age of 14. Dance aided Zasso in her theatre career at West by showing her how to be confident and learn every aspect of the role she portrays.
“It taught me how to be a fearless performer and how to prepare for an audition. In order to succeed, you really need to understand the role you’re trying to portray, and that’s the way I always approached dance,” Zasso said. “Every solo I had, I would map out my character arc and motivations in the dance. Though I wouldn’t consider myself the best dancer, I got first place every time I had a solo.”
Zasso joined theatre in middle school and fell in love immediately. Theatre is not just another after school activity for her; it’s her passion.
“I love theatre because I love people. Every part I play is another opportunity to analyze a character’s motivations, strengths, weakness, and their soul. Nothing is more fun for me than creating a solid, cohesive character,” Zasso said.
Her excellence in theatre is well recognized by her friends and peers. Many of them credit Zasso’s frequent casting to her ability to take on any role presented to her.
“From an acting standpoint, there is a reason she’s often casted. She is also pretty versatile and surprising in her ability to play a diverse array of parts,” junior Sean Collins said.
Zasso is not only a great dancer and actor, she is also skillful at singing. She took a step forward with her singing this year by joining the a cappella group Guys and Dolls. With her free time filled up with her extracurriculars, Zasso still manages to get all her work done and be the best she can be academically.
“Theatre, a cappella, and choir have all taught me a lot about time management. It’s really hard to balance my extracurriculars and demanding school work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Zasso said.
Zasso is a very motivated and dedicated person, and is always inspiring others around her to be the best they can be.
“She is the definition of a triple threat. No matter what role you give her, whether it be to sing, dance, and act, she can do it all,” junior Izabela Pop said. “I admire the way she makes an effort to balance all the classes she takes her involvement in. She stands out because she can do anything she sets her mind to, and she’s not afraid to ask for help.”
Zasso’s talent makes a huge impact in theatre and choir as well as the positive vibes she brings.
“She makes a huge impact on theatre and choir. She always has a smile on her face and makes people happy to be there,” sophomore Lily Gussis said. “Something I love is that she gives constructive criticism to help others be better and gives them compliments whenever she can. The best part is that she is always genuine and wouldn’t lie by saying something was perfect if she thought it needed a little improvement. Theatre and choir wouldn’t be the same without her.”
Although Zasso will not be continuing with theatre professionally, she intends on becoming a psychologist.
“I’m planning on becoming a psychologist because the subject has always fascinated me, and I’ve had a lot of friends who have been positively impacted by the work of a psychologist. Though it will take hard work to get there, it seems like it will be very rewarding. I would also be doing what I love, which is studying people,” Zasso said.