Veteran actress stands out with a combination of hard work, talent


Ocean Lakes Theatre Company

Dillan Alspaugh, senior, played Dr. Cantaway in “The Laramie Project,” the 2018 fall play.

Senior Dillan Alspaugh “blatantly exudes talent whether she be singing on stage or in her car,” said Tristan Hicks president of the OL Theatre Company. With her talent, hard work, and experience she has developed into an outstanding theatre member.

Dillan has performed in theatre from a young age. She started at a performing arts magnet elementary school in Florida, and after chorus, she took up theatre.

“My first musical was the Wizard of Oz, and I just kind of fell in love with theatre from there,” said Dillan.

Since her freshman year, she has been with the OLTC and is now Vice President, along with senior Mason Dunaway.

Dillan has played in a variety of shows throughout her high school theatre career.

She played the baker’s wife in “Into the Woods,” ensemble in “The Outsiders,” Grace Farrell in “Annie,” Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice,” Christine Penmark in “The Bad Seed,” Belle in “Beauty in the Beast,” Dr. Cantway in “The Laramie Project,” and Helen McGuffin in “Dinner With the MacGuffins.”

She will also be playing Aunt Em Gale/Glinda in their upcoming musical “The Wizard of Oz.”

According to Tristan, stage presence is one of Dillan’s major strengths.

“When she walks onto a stage, she lights up a scene,” said Tristan. “She draws attention magically.”

Dillan’s hard work sets a strong example for others in the company, especially for newcomers, according to Claude Blanchard director of the OLTC.

“Yes theater is about talent, but a lot of people have talent. It’s the hard work; it’s the not ‘settling for second best.’ It’s pushing yourself to the next level, and I think people see that. They either want to mimic it, or they aspire to be at that level,” said Blanchard. “During rehearsal and during performances, she just always gives 100%. She is probably harder on herself than a director or any other leader could be.”

The rigorous schedules of Dillan and other theatre members displays their commitment to the company.

“For most of the rehearsal period, it’s until five, and sometimes you stay later,” said Dillan. “It can be up to 14 hours in this building sometimes, but if you love what you do, it doesn’t seem like a lot.”

After high school, Dillan wants to continue theatre but not as a career.

“I used to want to major in it, but I’m kind of leaning away from that. I just kind of want to do it on the side as long as I can, but I don’t know if I really want to pursue a career in it,” said Dillan.

Blanchard has high hopes for Dillan’s future.

“Regardless of what direction she goes into after high school, I think that Dillan, because of her hard work and her attitude, is going to be successful in whatever she does,” said Blanchard.