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Fine Arts Student of the Week: First play, he plays a prince

John Toven Grade: Freshman. Age: 14. Art focus: Brainerd High School Theater. Adviser nomination: "John Toven has been an extremely dedicated actor during the first month of rehearsals for 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' This is John's first p...

John Toven

Grade: Freshman.

Age: 14.

Art focus: Brainerd High School Theater.

Adviser nomination: "John Toven has been an extremely dedicated actor during the first month of rehearsals for 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' This is John's first play at the high school. He plays the prince and he has done extraordinarily well with this role. John has a scene where he dances with Snow White, and he and the actress who plays Snow White have spent many hours practicing the dance outside of rehearsal. The actors were off-script this week, and John had all of his lines down."

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Memorable fine arts achievement: "Making it to Minnesota all-state honor choir in sixth and seventh grade."

Other fine arts activities: Varsity Choir, Sinfonia Orchestra and Encore.

Have you done any other plays before high school: "This is my first play ever. I was in one in second grade, I think."

Interest in joining theater: "I always thought I could be good at acting. When I got an email from Ms. (Karen) Lively when she sent out the announcements on the first day of school ... I read about the fall play auditions are saw the date and we had to pick up a packet. I grabbed a packet and signed up outside of Ms. (Karla) Johnson's door. I auditioned using one of her dialogues for the prince. She posted callbacks the next day and I got called back. I thought I may get a role and then when the cast list was posted, I was too nervous to check it. She posted it during first hour and when I couldn't look at it, I went to grab my friend at Franklin (Arts Center) and we went back to the high school to read it together and I got really excited when I saw my name. I was like 'Wow' this is my first play and I am one of the main characters.

"I told my mom about it and she was happy about it."

Tell me about the challenges of playing the prince: "One of the first challenges was remembering my lines. I have 32 lines in the play and I am in two of the six scenes. It's not a huge lengthy role that requires a lot of memorization, like Miya (Boyd) has to memorize as she is playing Snow White and is in every scene.

"Occasionally something will happen off stage when I am on stage and I have to try really hard to stay focused. I can be easily distracted."

How has the dancing gone: "I am not a dancer, not at all. So when I learned I was going to have to do some ballet and a waltz, I was excited and incredibly nervous. They had Libby Borash help us and she showed us while she was stating the dance terms to us.

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"Knowing one dance is not knowing how to dance, but I am more interested in dance now."
Favorite Disney movie: "Mulan."

Dream job: "I know this is stereotypical but an astronaut. Having no gravity is incredible to me."

Favorite TV show: "Scooby Doo."

Favorite book: "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini.

Favorite subject: Math and science.

Favorite movie: "V for Vendetta."

Favorite band: "Chon Mendes. I like him as he has a higher vocal range than me, but I can sing most of his songs."

MEA plans: "None. I will probably have lots of homework and reading to do. I'm teaching my little brother, he is 4, how to play a video games so we will do that, too."

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Favorite meal: "My mom's homemade chili."

Biggest pet peeve: "A double negative."

Parents: Sean Tovin of Brainerd and Angie Tovin of Brainerd.

Related Topics: BRAINERD HIGH SCHOOLTHEATER
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