The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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Oscars results shock Terrace community

©HAWKEYE image credit: Sabin Metallo
Students Tate Haney, Adelaide St. John, Elio Isley, and Seble Daniel pose next to a cardboard cutout of Lily Gladstone.

Glitz, fame, and glamor. Many individuals dream of a life where their face is projected onto the big screen, and for 2004 Mountlake Terrace High School graduate Lily Gladstone, this dream became her reality.

Following Gladstone’s nomination for an Academy Award, many students, alumni, and her previous teachers were thrilled. Both former and current members of the MTHS Drama Club were especially excited, as Gladstone herself had been a member during her time at Terrace. On March 10, Mountlake Terrace High School Drama Club held a watch party for the 2024 Oscar Awards ceremony, which was open to the public and hosted by the MTHS Drama Club.

After last year’s district-wide budget cuts, many theater members thought this was an especially perfect opportunity to bolster support for the arts. “I signed on when this was gonna be a really small fundraising event with just drama kids, but then it kind of exploded,” senior and Drama Club president Lily McKnight said. “I’m happy it exploded because now there’s so many people here and I’m so excited.” Students, parents, staff, volunteers, and alumni alike all gathered together in the HUB to watch the awards ceremony, all dressed in their finest red carpet fashion. The support garnered around this event left many organizers shocked. “This is probably gonna fund [next year’s] musical…if this is the only way we can get people to care about theater, then we’re gonna go hard.” said McKnight.

Along with patrons and supporters, many external news organizations also joined in on the festivities, interviewing alumni, students, and staff who were involved in the events organization.

During one interview with United Daily, Jeannie Brzovic commented on Gladstone’s work ethic as her former theater director. According to Brzovic, core aspects of Gladstone’s acting included professionalism, sincerity, and an overall “can-do” attitude. Gladstone’s nomination was not only an amazing achievement for her, but it also inspired many students here at MTHS.

“Just to see someone who was where I am, who acted on the same stage I act on, it’s so cool to see where I could potentially go in the future,” junior and Drama Club Treasurer Elliott Orange said.

Gladstone is the first Indigenous woman in history to have won a Golden Globe, and despite all the odds, her story shines a light on other talented creatives who may not have had representation in media before. “Looking here and seeing all of the media and the cameras and the flashing lights, it’s really crazy because that’s something that I’ve always dreamed about…it’s really cool to get a taste of that [here].”

An audience of Lily Gladstone fans watches in shock, as Emma Stone’s name is called for the Best Leading Actress award instead of Terrace alumna Gladstone. (©HAWKEYE image credit: Sabin Metallo)

In the world of actors, students are often seen as the bottom rung, and high school theater can often be looked down upon by others.“People don’t really consider an actor as an actor until they’ve been on camera or on a big, big stage…I feel like if you get up on a stage and you act frequently, you’re an actor. [Those are] the qualifications,” Orange said.

Gladstone’s nomination for an Oscar gave many aspiring actors a clear message that their dreams are obtainable, and it can be worthwhile to pursue their goals.

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Last year, the district announced budget cuts that primarily affected the arts department and theater classes.

When this news was first announced, students flocked to district meetings, protests were organized, and the arts community banded together to protect the things they loved. These cuts were still enacted, and support from outside the community has dwindled as the months have gone by, highlighting the importance of fundraisers like the Oscars watch party, which give students a voice to prove that people still care. “There is a rumor that the [district] is trying to cut our department again, which is awful because we have so many hard-working kids in this program, and it’s become a community and a home for a lot of us, and …it feels unnatural to not be in the theater every day. I just, I love it so much and I don’t want to see it go.” junior Mia Smith, thespian and Drama club member said.

I’m invigorated, its so…inspiring that someone is going off and doing this thing, and they were in the same place that I am now.

— Elliot Orange, junior and Drama club treasurer

Community is such a huge aspect of high school life, even more so here at Terrace, and seeing the bonds held by MTHS graduates even 20 years later gave hope to many current drama students. “Last week I went to one of the Oscar [planning] meetings that we had, and it was just so cool to see everyone, and I mean the meetings were so slow because they were all having their own little high school reunion but it was so amazing to hear all these little stories from them, and like what they’re doing now with their career and how theater has helped them in their lives,” Smith said.

Gladstone has given something to MTHS students that has been difficult to come by since the pandemic: hope. “It can kind of just show how people who were once on stage doing random little one-act shows can go star in a movie with Leonardo Dicaprio…it’s inspiring to think that people like us can get up there,” sophomore and dedicated drama student Tate Haney said. “It’s important to show that the community is still here and we’re still going to keep fighting…it’s just incredible what we could do with such little time but with such big hearts.”

Many Mountlake Terrace alumni also attended the event in support for their former classmate. Josh Ryder, Gladstone’s friend and superlative mate in the now-famous yearbook photo, said, “I am amazed at her resilience. I don’t think Lily is the only person who has found success after two decades. I don’t think that’s unique to her, but I mean her story is so inspiring and just a testament to her strength.”

Gladstone has not only inspired students and artists, but she is also spreading the stories of overlooked Indigenous peoples.“It is awful that I had not heard of the Osage Reign of Terror until I watched this film, I hadn’t heard of the Tulsa Massacre until the Watchmen show on HBO…there were these really monumental acts of aggression towards communities of color that were either neglected or censored or left out of my public education.” Ryder said.

Madi Beam, senior and vice president of Drama Club described the hope Gladstone gave her: ”I’ve struggled really hard in the last couple of years, is it really worth it to pursue my dreams?….It’s so rare to win an Oscar and even just to be nominated is just so mind blowing…she’s such an inspiration.”

According to The Guardian, about two percent of actors make a living wage, but to these students it’s about more than making money. “It’s not about the money, it’s not about the fame…it’s about the community and it’s about getting to do something that is more than all of us,” Haney said.

Theater is a part of MTHS, theater is a part of Gladstone’s life, and theater is a vital part of many students’ lives. Gladstone gave something to every student that walks these halls, and while she may not have won an Oscar, her nomination has given a beacon of hope to countless dreamers.

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About the Contributor
Lucas Barquin
Lucas Barquin, Op/Ed Editor
Lucas Barquin joined HSM because he enjoyed writing and wanted to join a group where he could continue writing with others. Lucas’ goal is to write about important topics, and to make every student feel seen and heard. In his free time Lucas enjoys drawing, listening to music and playing D&D. His post high school plans are to attend an art school for graphic design and illustration.
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