by Lark Breen
Freshman Elizabeth Duvall has been in theatrical productions since fifth grade. This year’s school production of Legally Blonde marked her eighth musical, in which she brought to life Amanda, a member of the sassy Greek chorus and endlessly supportive UCLA marching band. In reality, Duvall is less brazen and more openhearted.
The stage attracts Duvall because it is a safe place for her to explore different characters. “Outside of musicals, I’m more introverted,” she admits. “On stage, I get to become a different person, and that’s really appealing to me.” The costumes are the element that highlights each character’s individuality, and Duvall was excited and pleased to get four costume changes in Legally Blonde.
Duvall’s connection to music goes beyond participation in musicals, however. This freshman is also a self-taught pianist, an avid singer, a cajon player, and a massive Ed Sheeran fan. Duvall began teaching herself to play piano two years ago, but has been taking vocal lessons and singing on stage for longer. She has performed through her vocal lessons, with the LGHS choir, and at some open mic events. Her Ed Sheeran fanaticism is ongoing, but she claims to have been a fan of his music long before it was popular.
Another big passion of Duvall’s is film and cinematography. She spends a lot of free time studying films and creating her own with friends. She treats filmmaking as an independent hobby, but has considered it as a future career because of how much she genuinely enjoys making videos. For her biosphere project, Duvall wrote up a script, gathered a few friends, and made a video parody of The Office for her lab report. Recalling the project, Duvall reflects, “It was a lot of work, but I was really proud of it at the end.”
Though the pride of finishing a fun and difficult project was very fulfilling to Duvall, the best time of her life was the day she went to the Smithsonian and explored the Washington, DC monuments at sunset with her friends. Duvall went on the eighth grade trip to Washington, DC last spring and found the experience very enriching. Duvall has rarely left the country, but has done a lot of travelling within the United States to visit her extended family scattered throughout the states. This trip to DC was especially memorable because Duvall had the greater independence that comes with embarking on a trip sans parents. Still, she does not attempt to circumvent higher authorities; she simply enjoys the occasional taste of freedom. Duvall reports that she lives by the phrase “I will do as I please,” which she interprets to mean that she does not have to feel judged for her actions.
The qualities Duvall values most in herself and in others are open-mindedness and diligence. Both are evident in watching the freshman interact with other people, both one-on-one and in the wider community. Duvall has a persistent smile, a welcoming disposition, and a notable stage presence. A vibrant and caring member of the class of 2020, Duvall can also sing along beautifully to anything from Legally Blonde to Ed Sheeran to the Phineas and Ferb theme song.