The passing of the flame

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Jayson Klaumann ’19 and Taylea Mills ’19 hold up the candle after the school’s final performance of The Little Mermaid as previous winner Britney Scheetz ’18 looks on, smiling. Photo courtesy of Michele Patton.

Though the school’s annual theatre production holds many traditions, one of the oldest and most sacred is the passing of the candle.

The tradition of the candle has been going on for longer than anyone at school can remember. The idea is that, every year, one senior picks a junior who has demonstrated the highest acting abilities, the most dedication, and the most effort to going above and beyond in that year’s musical, and presents to them a candle after the show’s final performance. The candle is meant to represent the flame of the theatre, and the passing of it is meant to symbolize that that flame will never die at FHS. The next year, the junior that was picked will then, as a senior, pick another junior to pass the candle on to, to keep the tradition burning.

Last year, Britney Scheetz ’18 was chosen to receive the candle, and this year she passed the flame on to not one, but two students who she felt best represented the Fairbury theatre production: Jayson Klaumann ’19 and Taylea Mills ’19.

“It humbles me that the senior class thinks highly of me and my performance skills.” Klaumann said. “I hope the tradition keeps going as long as it can.”

Though passing the candle on to two students goes against tradition, it’s a change many are welcoming.

“I honestly didn’t mind sharing with someone else. Especially with Jayson.” Mills said. “He has been very devoted and a loyal character to every play and performance. I felt as though he earned it just as much as I did and was happy to see that we both got it.”

Although the passing of the candle is a major responsibility, Mills and Klaumann are both ready to take on the challenge of picking a worthy junior or juniors to pass it on to next year, and are excited to see the heartfelt tradition inspire more young actors throughout the years.

“My favorite part is just the feeling that everyone sees me and Jayson as strong leaders in the musical.” Mills said. “I think it’s a huge responsibility that I hope to hold to.”