Dashna Benjamin: Star of the Show


By Gloria Kosir, Feature's Editor

The premise of putting on a theatre production seems simple enough, right? Curtains open, actors act, singers sing, musicians make music, and the curtains close after a round of applause. The much more complex workings of a show are hidden from the audience, but junior Dashna Benjamin, Webmaster and Points Recorder, knows all about the secrets of the stage.

Being on Thespian Board definitely gives me a new perspective of being in theatre, because it is more of a management position. I get to work with amazing people to discuss the year ahead of us and how it’s going to work,” Benjamin said. In her position as Webmaster and Points Recorder, she’s responsible for the upkeep of the website and keeping track of how much everyone in the production works. However, Benjamin hasn’t worked only on Thespian Board. She’s dipped her toe in all sorts of different aspects of the show.

“I am generally on the Costume Crew, where we handle all costume aspects of the production. I have also been on Prop Crew, which handles the props aspect of the production. I was also Assistant Stage Manager (ASM), which is more of a management role. Typically, the ASMs are keeping everything backstage in check. We ensure that the actors are in places for their scenes,” Benjamin said. She’s most comfortable in Costume Crew, but her goal is to be a stage manager for at least one production by the time of her graduation.

“Obviously, considering our circumstances I don’t know how likely that is to happen, but I have hope,” Benjamin said. So far, Benjamin has been in six different productions at Niles West. Her favorite was “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which was her first. “I got to meet so many people and make memories. It helped me find my place in the department,” Benjamin said. 

Benjamin first got into theatre her freshman year, and since then she’s made countless friends and mentors, but the one that sticks out to her the most is Hannah Yeager Luthringer.

Ms. Hannah has definitely helped me get around in this department. The whole department is very welcoming, but I feel that Ms. Hannah has always been there to lift my spirits. When I feel like I can’t do something, she always encourages me to keep going,” Benjamin said. Luthringer has been helping out at West’s shows, usually as a director or production manager of the productions. 

“Dashna is one of the hardest workers in our department. Aside from her amazing work ethic, she is also a creative, sincere artist. She makes every show she is a part of more positive and fun, and puts a piece of herself in every show” Luthringer said.

Benjamin has taken Theatre Workshop, Acting, Advanced Theatre Studio, and is now taking Directing under the instruction of Andy Sinclair and Samuel Rose

“Dashna is one of the most motivated, kindest and creative students I know. She comes to each rehearsal or crew call with a positive attitude and creative energy. She is also one of the funniest people I know. I am lucky to have worked with her since her freshman year and I can’t wait to see what she will bring to our department this year and next year,” Sinclair said.

Theatre has impacted me in a lot of ways. I think it has made me a lot more confident and outgoing. In theatre, I have stepped out of my comfort zone a lot and I have learned things that I am probably gonna carry with me through life. I have met so many amazing people and have built friendships that I won’t ever forget,” Benjamin said.