Miles Lane takes the stage

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Mr. Phelan

Miles Lane (12) sing "SOS" as Sam Carmichael in "Mamma Mia."

To some people who know him, Miles Lane (12) may be seen as just a typical athlete, but that’s not all he does. Miles is also a big part of VHHS’s Backlight Theatre Company.

This year Miles played the character Sam Carmichael in the fall musical “Mamma Mia.” His presence off stage is stoic and reserved, but when he gets on stage, he exudes confidence.

Not only does he bring this confidence to his character, but he also brings an air of emotionality to his character. His heartbreak shows when he belts out “SOS,” and the painful nostalgia he feels is evident in “Knowing Me Knowing You.”

Miles started participating in theater in the 7th grade at Middle School South.

“My best friend told me that I should audition for the musical ‘Into the Woods,’ and I got the lead of

Rapunzel’s prince,” Miles said. “I’ve been in love with it ever since.”

Miles has been a part of Backlight Theatre Company since his freshman year, and he’s become an important part of the company throughout the years.

“He is a really talented actor on stage,” said Mr. Phelan, the director of the musical. “He is a stand up person and gets along with most everybody pretty well, and he is a positive influence on the people around him.”

Apart from theater, Miles plays lacrosse, does martial arts and gymnastics. Being an athlete gives Miles a unique perspective in theatre.

“It’s fun to have different personalities, and because he does sports, he brings something different to the stage that personality wise that a lot of the other kids don’t have,” Phelan said.

For Miles, there is something special about theatre that is different from sports.

“When it’s theater it’s like you live with these people. You’re creating. You’re creating a relationship not only with each other’s characters, but with your actual selves, which is really special. And you remember that more than plays in playbook,” he said.

Miles also brings another unique perspective to Backlight Theatre Company. He’s one of the only black students involved in Backlight.

“Being an athlete, a lot of people expect me to just be naturally athletic because I am black. In theater it’s a lot more accepting of being black because they don’t expect anything from you.”

This doesn’t entirely affect Miles experience in theater.

“I don’t feel like it affects me as an actor as much as I thought it would. Because a lot of people think that theater is about like typecasting but obviously not because I’ve had parts that are usually played by white people. So it doesn’t affect me as much as people would think.”

While Miles plans to major in biomedical engineering in college, he hopes to minor in theater as well.