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Last Moments in Love

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Michael Fuhrman peers over the gate blocking off Love Auditorium.

Michael Fuhrman peers over the gate blocking off Love Auditorium.

Mary Catherine Selig

Mary Catherine Selig

Michael Fuhrman peers over the gate blocking off Love Auditorium.

Maxton Preuninger, Writer

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He filed into Love Auditorium for the first time with a head full of red hair and brown eyes that were not big enough to take in the size of the space. As a third grader, Michael Fuhrman thought of how big the auditorium was and how many people would be able to fill the cream-colored stadium chairs that went on row after row. Nine years later, as a senior, Fuhrman, along with the rest of the theater students, is saying goodbye to the auditorium that proved to be one of the most welcoming places on campus.

Within his four years in high school, Fuhrman has performed in four talent shows, in “Les Miserables” as Poor Person #75, Billy Crocker in “Anything Goes,” Jack Chesney in “Charley’s Aunt,” Lumiere in “Beauty and the Beast,” William Gillette in “The Game’s Afoot,”  Shaw Moore in “Footloose.”

He has also had countless memories in the auditorium with his band section, front ensemble.

“We would load all of our [keyboards] in there, and it would be our home for the week,” Fuhrman said. “You knew where you were for a second, and you felt like you had a family.”

As Reporter Historian for the class of 2018, Love Auditorium was the place where senior Carlee Hutchins gave her speech for office. It was the place where she was able to be on stage with her best friends as an ensemble member in “Anything Goes” and “Les Miserables,” Donna Lucia and head of sound in “Charley’s Aunt,”Madame de La Grande Bouche in “Beauty and the Beast,” Inspector Goring in “The Game’s Afoot” and Ethel McCormack in “Footloose.” Hutchins said that seeing Love being torn down is pretty tough, and three of her seven classes are displaced.

“Just watching these people that I feel are invaders come into what was a home for me for many years is tough,” Hutchins said.

Hutchins said her final bows as Ethel McCormack in the final performance of “Footloose,” were emotional.

“Because life is so busy for me, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to ever hit another last pose again,” Hutchins said. “It’s just very nostalgic for me to look around and remember all the years of warm ups, rehearsals, tongue twisters and times it was so late and we were so exhausted.”

Much like Hutchins, senior Mallory Sullivan felt as if she was being evicted from her home. From her final performance as Vi Moore in “Footloose” to the slow destruction of Love Auditorium, Sullivan says it has been emotional, especially seeing the auditorium’s doors stripped and holes scattered through the walls.

“I was almost in tears,” Sullivan said. “It was so sad, and it was not okay. I feel like they’re evicting us, and it’s terrible.”

Now in his fifth year of teaching, performing arts teacher Jeremy Clay knows that this upcoming year is going to be a year of transition, but he’s excited to see what the new venue will be like. Clay looks forward to the opportunities it will create for his students, but will also remember the moments he had alone in the auditorium..

“It has been like my canvas,” Clay said. “I’m trying to paint a story for an audience, so it has been my canvas for a while.”

As Love Auditorium is slowly stripped down, Fuhrman says it is not the same building anymore, but he recognizes that it is progress.

“It’s okay to be mournful of the building and seeing it go, but I’ll always have that picture in my head,” Fuhrman said. “I won’t forget that building at all, and the memories in that building will last longer than any stadium chair ever would.”

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