Hammer’s dance background, Fenech’s vocal training bring balanced expertise to ‘Curtains’ cast


Alyssa Gast

Seniors Emery Hammer (left) and Izzy Fenech (right) arrived at Bearden theatre with different specialties, but they’ve both worked to become complete stage actors during their time in the program.

Bearden theatre wouldn’t be the same without the intricate dancing and advanced vocal skills of the cast, and senior leads Emery Hammer and Izzy Fenech will bring rich backgrounds in both of those areas.

Hammer’s skills in dance cater to her role as Bambi in Curtains, this year’s musical, while Fenech’s vocal talent is necessary for her role as Georgia. The show will debut at Bearden on Nov. 10.

“I grew up in dance and I’m a competitive dancer outside of school, so having that experience and that background I think helped me,” Hammer said. “I’ve been training a lot this summer on my acting [by working] at Clarence Brown at UT with some of the professors there and they coached me, [helping] me break out of my shell.”

Hammer originally joined theater as an experienced dancer rather than an experienced actress; however, her vocal training led to her role in the All State East Choir and eventually landed her a lead in this year’s show. 

Fenech joined the program after taking Theatre I as a skillful singer, and throughout the years, she has pushed herself to learn more about the other aspects of being a stage actor.

“I think starting off with Theatre I really opened my shell a lot because I came into high school not wanting to do musical theater,” she said. “I just knew I could sing, but acting really wasn’t one of my strong suits, especially on stage since I used to do film acting.” 

“But when I was in Theatre I, [Mrs. Lauren] Andrejko always allowed us to be our full selves and we always just left our egos and gave it our all, it really inspired me to become the person I am now.”

Added Hammer: “Izzy’s voice is quite magnificent, and I think being able to have her be so strong in vocals and me being strong with dance, having that balance of the two, really brings the whole show together and highlights what all of us as a company can do in one show.”

Throughout their years in Bearden theatre, Mrs. Andrejko has witnessed them flourish. 

“I’ve really seen them both grow in different ways,” Mrs. Andrejko said. “The two of them together are really a joy to watch. … [They] have worked so hard to achieve the goal of getting a lead in the show, and I’m very proud of them for that.” 

Although Hammer and Fenech excel in different areas of expertise, they still admire each other’s talents.

“Emery is the most elegant mover I’ve ever seen in my entire life; she moves so beautifully, and her dancing is so captivating,” Fenech said. “When she has her dance solos, I think people are going to be so in awe of the way she moves, and I hope my singing is also the same way.”