A farewell to Froelicher

By Bailey Walker ’20 

The coronavirus pandemic has upended almost everything in our daily lives. As a third tri Senior at Colorado Academy, I dreaded logging on to class meetings just to watch more and more of our traditions disappear into the ether.  

However, the hardest part for me personally has not been the loss of certain dates or scheduled events, but not being able to just be on campus as a Senior. Not being able to lie in the grass during a free block or set up my hammock by the fields is a disappointment I never thought I would encounter. The whole experience has made me realize, if not appreciate, the importance of place in my life. In my own experience at CA, no place has meant more to me than the theater. 

As a building, Froelicher Theatre is forever intertwined with the classes, performances, Town Halls, and hangouts that have happened inside its un-airconditioned walls. Since the long-overdue demolition and rebuilding of Froelicher Theatre will most likely happen before I get a chance to re-enter those hallowed walls, I wanted to collect thoughts from the people who loved it and used it the most—not just to serve as a farewell to the building itself, but to remember the spirit of the CA theater community that lives on into the new building and our current virtual world. 

“The story of Froelicher Theatre can be found in so many places—each name etched into the walls by hundreds of actors and technicians leaving a lasting memory of their accomplishments…the splatters of paint that make up a chaotic but artful piece on the floors backstage…the cracks on the floor where the tiles have decided to curl upwards, pointing at the lights waiting for their next use that will never come. The applause dies down and the house lights come up. One era ends, only to give birth to another.” James Doolittle, Junior  

“Froelicher Theatre has just about always been my favorite place on campus. Even when it was acting up and being an absolute mess of a building, the space was so charming and filled with such great memories that it was impossible not to love. I’ll never forget performing there for the first time and just soaking up the irreplaceable energy of that space. And I will not forget just hanging out on the scaffolding with friends on slow afternoons. Froelicher will definitely be missed.” Aidan Klingbeil ’20

“I started out in the theater as just the little Freshman girl who operated the spotlight. I remember thinking that there was no way that the cool Seniors would give me a second glance. But after my first rehearsal, a wonderful Senior girl named Liza came up to me and asked if I wanted to go get Starbucks with everyone. I know it’s the smallest little thing, but it meant the world to me. Later, I remember acting with Justin in Our Town and thinking, ‘Why am I standing next to this talented actor?’ But he showed me how confident I can be on stage. I hope I was able to do the same for the underclassmen in the program who performed with me.” Phoebe Cannon ’20 

“The place that is hardest for me to say goodbye to is the Basement Theatre. It is less visited and less known, but I would spend every moment there, if possible. The lessons I’ve learned both in class and in shows have shaped me in ways that academics never will—not to mention all of the singalongs, rituals, tears, conversations, make-up disasters, impromptu performances, sassy comments, and bonds that were forged, which will forever live as some of the best memories I possess. I’ll miss you, Froelicher Theatre, but I know that everything you gave us will carry on in our new space.”  Claire Kenny, Sophomore 

“Froelicher Theatre is my favorite place on earth. It is my home, even though I live half an hour away from school. It is a refuge for every bad day and a place to celebrate every good day. I have made all of my best friends there. It has done so much for me that I could never repay it.”  Cooper Kofron ’20 

“My home, Froelicher Theatre, is a place to laugh until your stomach hurts, a place to cry until you’re dehydrated, a place to love until your heart feels full. Since my Freshman year Technical Theater class, this place has given me so much more than I can possibly give back. To all of you who have felt the magic of this place: you have a special place in my heart. To all who have not yet: you’re always welcome. The theater is not just a place, it’s a community.” Annabelle Swenson, Junior