×

Local high school grads take on the world

Three members of the ConVal class of 2018 talk about what it is like to stay in the area, study away from home and travel after getting their diplomas

  • Kylie Procita (right) and friend Paige (left) at the Savannah College of Art and Design film festival, where they were covering the event as film majors. Courtesy photo

  • Margaret Yates in Venice, Italy in October before enjoying a heart-shaped pizza by the water. Courtesy photo

  • Eve Pierce in “Pippi Longstocking” at the Peterborough Players. Photo by Will Howell



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 6:4PM

Across the nation, seniors in high school are finishing up their college application process and continuing to make plans for after graduation. Meanwhile, the graduates from 2018 are now well into their post high school journeys.

We asked three 2018 ConVal graduates what they’ve been up to since they said their goodbyes to ConVal High School last June. From staying at home and working with the local community, to art school in the south, to traveling all over Europe – these graduates have been keeping busy!

STAY

Eve Pierce, 18, of Peterborough, began an apprenticeship with the Peterborough Players shortly after graduating from ConVal. In the apprenticeship, Pierce would work backstage running sound, or in shops on the sets, electrics, props, or costumes. She also was given the chance to appear in “Pippi Longstocking” and was in the ensemble in “Skin of Our Teeth.”

“It was long days, but the people were incredible and I learned a tremendous amount,” Pierce said.

Following her apprenticeship, Pierce was given the opportunity to help choreograph ConVal’s production of “Spamalot.” Pierce would go to two rehearsals every week to teach choreography.

“We started out with just learning a few numbers a day, but by tech week we had been running every number in every choreography rehearsal for about six rehearsals,” she said.

During show week, Pierce acted as one of the directors to give notes and help with costumes.

In addition, Pierce also has been working with her theatre troupe, The Shakespeare Gang, to put on an original play written by troupe member Cheyenne Heinselman, “A Cannibal, A Mathematician, and a Banjo Player Walk Into A Bar.”

“We’ve been working on making this show actually happen for about a year at this point and we’re finally off to the races,” Pierce said.

Pierce will be a producer alongside director Miranda Craig, but they will both be performing in the show as well.

When asked about her decision to stay home rather than travel or go to college, Pierce said that she did it to focus on musical theatre.

“I’ve never been much of a traveler, it’s just not something I’m interested in doing.” Pierce said.

This is the same reason Pierce refrained from studying at college.

“I’ve had my fill of straight forward academics and I knew that if I did study anywhere, it would be with a singular focus on musical theatre,” she said.

By staying home, she was able to easily commute to her apprenticeship at the Peterborough Players and ConVal.

With this decision, Pierce has been receiving nothing but support.

“It’s mostly been an ‘acting is risky’ once in a blue moon, which I answer with ‘yeah, I know,’ cause I do, and it’s not like that changes anything,” Pierce said, referring to reactions to her decision to stay home and work on her passion for theater. “It’s been mostly all support and love, which I feel incredibly lucky for.”

Pierce feels prepared through the work she’s chose to do since graduating. She’s been building sets, playing music, performing, running sound, running rehearsals, organizing shows, making costumes, and much more.

“Going through all this has really instilled some confidence in me that I can do all this stuff, and I’m not scared to keep going.”

Pierce’s decision to stay home rather than going to college might not be the social norm, but that is part of Eve’s personality.

“If I hadn’t been going against social norms on and off throughout my childhood I probably wouldn’t be who I am now.” Pierce said.

College

Kylie Procita, 18, of Peterborough is currently attending Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Georgia in order to study film. Procita wants to study film in order to promote social change through her desire to create documentaries.

Procita said the topic of her documentaries isn’t set in stone yet, “I think it depends on where I’m at and where the world is at, but probably something to do with politics. But it could also go in any direction because there are so many problems in the world.”

Procita is confident in her choice to leave New Hampshire to study, and encourages others to do the same. She said that by stepping out of your comfort zones, you will gain newly informed perspectives.

“It’s totally fine if you want to spend the rest of your life in New Hampshire, but leave before you do that so you can appreciate it more and so that you can a have a broader perspective,” Procita said.

Although she is enjoying SCAD, Procita admits to missing details of home.

“I miss cooking. And I miss driving. And I also miss – I sort of miss – the cold, but I know when I get home for two months that will go away after a while. But currently, I’m looking forward to snow,” she said.

Procita also misses aspects of ConVal High School as well.

“I miss the community of the ConVal art department because it was a very supportive environment which allowed me to express my creativity in a fun and productive way,” Procita said.

Travel

Margaret Yates, 18, of Dublin, has been busy traveling Europe, following working over the summer in Martha’s Vineyard. Yates traveled to 11 countries –England, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Monaco, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic – staying with friends, eating delicious food, and meeting new people.

Yates says that the most rewarding thing about her time spent traveling is the exposure to culture she has seen. Yates said she has fallen in love with the streets of Europe, the architecture, art, people, and food in particular. Yates was particularly fond of the great culture she found in Sicily.

“It’s impossible to walk down Main Street in Peterborough and see what you could see in even the smallest town in Sicily,” Yates said.

Yates says although she misses her family and friends, she is excited and happy for her opportunity to travel. Yates said she had a personal breakthrough when she realized she could work at her own pace instead of rushing to college or to a job.

“Despite society telling me how important money is, I know that I can live fully and happily cracking open chickpea pods and harvesting olives and living for free,” Yates said.

Yates returns home soon, in time for the holidays, where she will remain for two months before flying to New Zealand. Yates already has plans for when she gets home.

“I’m probably going to catch up with family and friends and maybe do some traveling within the U.S.,” Yates said. “Europe has inspired me tremendously in an artistic way and I am more than excited to get started on some of my ideas.”


Kylie Procita (right) and friend Paige (left) at the Savannah College of Art and Design film festival, where they were covering the event as film majors. Courtesy photo Kylie Procita (right) and friend Paige (left) at the Savannah College of Art and Design film festival, where they were covering the event as film majors. - Courtesy photo
Margaret Yates in Venice, Italy in October before enjoying a heart-shaped pizza by the water. Courtesy photo Margaret Yates in Venice, Italy in October before enjoying a heart-shaped pizza by the water. - Courtesy photo
Eve Pierce in “Pippi Longstocking” at the Peterborough Players. Photo by Will Howell Eve Pierce in “Pippi Longstocking” at the Peterborough Players. - Photo by Will Howell