Eugene Weekly : Arts Short : 5.29.08

Funding a Dream

As her mother handed her the phone, Heléne Morse knew she had picked an opportune day to stay home from high school. On the other end of the call was Interlochen Center for the Arts, telling the stunned 16-year-old that she was one of 18 students (from more than 300 who auditioned this year) selected to attend Interlochen’s Department of Theatre Arts.

The Michigan arts high school has a student population of 500 divided among music, theater, visual arts, creative writing and more. One of the boarding school’s many famous graduates is Anthony Rapp, well-known from Rent.

After Heléne’s older sister died in August of 2007, the family decided to pursue things normally beyond their grasp, says Heléne’s mother Pat. Applying to Interlochen was one of those chances for Heléne — and it resulted in a big payoff. The family is excited, but the prestige of Interlochen comes with a hefty price tag: Tuition and fees total more than $41,000 per year.

Despite a sizeable scholarship from the academy, the sophomore plans to mount fundraisers to pay for more than half of the cost. At 7:30 pm this Friday, May 30, Heléne holds one of the first planned events when she sings for donations at South Eugene High School’s Little Theater. — Wade Christensen


Comments are closed.