Sarah Stroop, undoubtedly the world’s best horse and dog sitter, is also an accomplished actress. The charming 17-year-old has lived in Fairfax Station all her life in a stately house built by her grandfather Don Henson.
After six years at Clifton Elementary, Sarah joined the ranks of the numerous homeschoolers in our area. She became a member of Homeschool Theatre Troupe (HTT) a few weeks later. During the past six years, she has performed in twelve plays with the group.
HTT’s recent production of Alice in Wonderland in June was given at the Ferlazzo Building in Woodbridge, with an encore performance at NOVA’s Mary Louise Jackson Amphitheater in Manassas. Part of the Summer Evenings Under the Stars program, it was well received by the audience.
Sarah credits Colin Watson, “one of my ‘best-est’ friends,” with introducing her to the company. The director, Julie Little, is certainly one of the reasons why Sarah and so many of her friends, perform in play after play.
Julie Little, herself a homeschooling mom, is “an amazing director. She not only has us put on the productions, but do the homework, too,” explained Sarah.
For the current production, the students read both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. They were then required to research their parts and to write character sketches. Sarah, who owns her own rabbit, has become an expert on English hares.
“It is work,” Sarah noted. “not just social.”
Sarah, the zany March Hare, was one of 51 cast members, “the most we’ve ever had.” The actors were selected by audition. Students who did not get speaking roles served as extras or stage crew hands.
Sarah and her fellow actors have studied classics such as A Tale of Two Cities, Treasure Island, The Canterbury Tales, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Odyssey. Because these masterpieces are not plays, Little must often put on another hat, playwright. “When Julie writes a script for us, she doesn’t dumb it down,” Sarah Stroop said
Little commented that she “has good words to work with -- and good people, too.” To long-time HTT theatergoers like DeeAnn Stroop, Sarah’s mother, it is obvious that she has a “real knack for words” and for inspiring children, teens and parents.
Watching a rehearsal at NOVA’s impressive amphitheater was entertaining and enlightening. The young actors enjoyed being with each other and with their adult advisors. One teenage boy was heard to ask an adult volunteer, “Is there anything I can do to help?” Friendly, laughing, courteous, helpful, cooperative and organized, the HTT players always present top-notch theater.
A standing ovation for the Homeschool Theatre Troupe and Fairfax Station’s own Sarah Stroop!