Fine Arts Student of the Week: Lights, camera action! Junior wants to experience it all

Advisers in the fine arts programs at Brainerd High School name a Fine Arts Student of the Week every week.

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Brainerd High School junior Abby Pratt smiles during an interview talking about her work in One Act play. Pratt was named Fine Arts Student of the Week for her work in the One Act play. She was in charge of lights. Jennifer Kraus/screenshot

Abby Pratt

Grade: Junior.

Age: 16.

Art focus: Brainerd High School One Act Play.

Adviser nomination: “Abby Pratt is extremely active and loyal to the theatre program at BHS. She has acted in numerous productions, and most recently, she was in the tech crew as the lighting person for the One Act. Auditions were extremely competitive for the One Act this year, and when I asked Abby if she was willing to be involved with the tech crew, instead of acting for this show, she was extremely gracious and accepted right away! Abby did a phenomenal job with the lights for the show, and when we moved onto sectionals, she had to alter all of her light cues for the second recording because another group had been at Tornstrom and rearranged her light cues. Abby does a wonderful job under pressure, and I am extremely proud of all the hard work she put into the One Act this year!”


Other fine arts activities: A cappella choir and Chamber Orchestra.

Memorable fine arts achievement: Receiving a Superior in the Solo and Ensemble competition in choir.

How did the One Act team do this year? We ended up getting third place in sections, which is really good. The last time Brainerd competed at sections was in 2016.

This year was a little different because the Little Theatre was demolished last year so we had to record at Tornstrom Auditorium. We all wore masks the entire time. We couldn’t use face shields so they couldn’t see our facial expressions, they could only see our eyes. We sent the recording in and then we moved on to sectionals, which is crazy and we’re also excited. When we come back (to compete in sectionals), I’m looking at the lightboard and there’s new stuff on it and I was in charge of lights — that was my whole thing for this production. I was messing with it and the lights weren’t the same, so basically all the stuff I had written in my script was wrong now. So I had to rewrite down all of the cues and everything. It was tough for a second.

Abby and the light booth
Brainerd High School junior Abby Pratt works the lights during a recording for the One Act play. Pratt was named Fine Arts Student of the Week for her work in the One Act play. Submitted Photo

When did you join theater? I’ve been in a lot of community productions before high school, like when I was 10. Then when I got into high school I was like, “Yes, I can do high school theater.” I auditioned for every show and I got into the musical in my ninth grade year, “Joseph the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” And that was it. Being part of the theater program is so amazing because it’s like a whole family, like everybody’s so nice. Miss J (Johnson, the theater director) is amazing, she’s just the sweetest teacher ever. And it was really, really fun.


Any opportunity that I can participate in with the theater community I will do it no matter what. For the One Act, I auditioned and (Johnson) asked me if I wanted to do lights, and I was like, “Yes, I do.” It was my first time being on the tech crew, my first time doing lights. I had to be taught how to use the board but after that it was pretty second nature. It’s not that difficult, but it was really fun seeing the other side of the stage.

When asked to do lights, what was your reaction? I have never gotten to experience backstage because I’ve been in the productions. I was always like how do you do these things work backstage and I finally got to experience it.

I consider myself to be tech savvy, kind of. So like doing lights just made sense to me.

How tough was it to do lights? Honestly learning what each lever did was tough because you have to move them up, like if you saw a soundboard it looks kind of like that. I think it was just like moving those up at the right times and moving them quick enough. ... I had to do this a couple times, move all of them to learn how to do it. It was just like training my brain to do that.

Artists most admired: Meryl Streep and Barbra Streisand.

Dream job? It fluctuates. Some days I want to be a librarian, and other days I want to be a graphic designer.

Favorite movie: “Hello, Dolly!”

Favorite TV show: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”


Favorite book: “The Astonishing Color of After” by Emily X.R. Pan.

Favorite song? It changes every day, but right now, I am on a Queen kick! Especially “Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy.”

Favorite band? At the moment, Queen!

Brainerd High School junior Abby Pratt holds her cat after an interview with the Brainerd Dispatch talking about her work in One Act play. Submitted Photo

Favorite restaurant: Northern Cowboy.

Favorite subject: Choir or English.


Perfect meal? Pasta! I love almost any pasta, and cheesecake for dessert would be the cherry on top.

Biggest pet peeve: Slow walkers.

Hobbies: I enjoy playing Dungeons and Dragons with my friends, painting and acting in community and school theater productions.

Parents’ names and city you live in: Kristen and Steve Pratt, Merrifield.

.JENNIFER KRAUS may be reached at or 218-855-5851. Follow me at on Twitter.

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