EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the fourth in a series of features on Clinton County athletes who were honored as SBAAC players of the year in their respective sports this fall.
Being a competitive athlete and performing in a theatrical production has many similarities.
There are major differences, though, and Wilmington High School theater director Ken Lydy says many athletes shy away from auditioning for roles.
Not WHS senior Katie Murphy.
“I just think getting to embody a character that may be a completely different person than who you really are is super cool,” said Murphy, who loves movies and has taken part in numerous theater productions dating back to 2015.
Murphy was the SBAAC Girls Golfer of the Year this fall. She had the low stroke average for the season and won the league tournament.
“I started playing golf because it was an activity everyone else in my family enjoyed and took part in, so I decided I would try it,” she said. Her brother Jack was a two-time SBAAC American Division Boys Golfer of the Year and a three-time first-team SBAAC golfer at WHS.
While golf is a relatively new venture for Murphy, she has been involved in theater for nine years. Even before that, Murphy was involved in family productions.
“I love movies,” said Murphy, who plans to major in business and/or communications in college. “My family has always enjoyed watching them and my brother, Jack, has always enjoyed making them. When we were younger, Jack would come up with a movie idea and then at a family gathering with our cousins, we would all come together and make it. I would sometimes film, sometimes put together costumes, but there was nothing I enjoyed more than acting, which prompted my involvement in theater.”
Involvement might be an understatement for Murphy. Though only a high school production, she researches the role she’s playing.
“I like analyzing certain traits of a character before portraying them, too,” she said.
Said Lydy, “You can tell Katie has fun while she is on stage. She has a magnetic personality.”
Lydy also coached Murphy as a basketball player in seventh grade.
“She takes direction well and strives to do her best,” he said. “She understands stage presence the way she understands court presence. You can count on Katie as an actor to know her role … similar to how her teammates can count on her in a game.”
Though not expecting to be a movie star any time soon, Murphy said the big screen is her first passion that led to the stage.
“For me, I like theater but it’s film that I love,” she said. “I act in theater productions because I don’t have the opportunity to act in movie productions, other than the ones at home. I will say I’ve gained a lot more respect and appreciation for theater since having participated in it, so I could see myself possibly auditioning for a show or two in college if I start to miss it.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email [email protected] or on Twitter @wnjsports