From school auditorium to Broadway? Greenville senior to major in theater

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 12:57 pm on Friday, June 01, 2012

Esha Howe sits on the performing arts stage at Greenville High School where she performed in plays and concerts during her high school career. She plans to pursue musical theater at Saginaw Valley State University. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

GREENVILLE — Since she was 5 years old, all she loved to do was sing, dance and act and she plans to take her triple-threat talent all the way to Broadway.

Esha Howe, 17, plans to attend Saginaw Valley State University this fall to pursue musical theater in hopes of being in front of the camera and on the Broadway stage.

“It’s that one moment when everyone is looking at you to see what you can do,” said Howe of her favorite part of acting.

When Howe was 5, she played the part of the sun in “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider,” which sparked her interest in acting.

But it was not until middle school that she really began getting into the arts and theater and knew it was what she wanted to do.

During her time at Greenville High School, Howe participated in multiple productions that gave her experience and enhanced her talents.

The productions included “How the West was Dunn,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Bleacher Bums,” “Sound of Music,” “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged,” “Grease” and “War of the Worlds.”

“I love comedies and playing the ‘ditzy blonde.’” Howe said. “I love being funny and different on stage.”

Esha Howe, center, is pictured performing during her last concert as a Village Green singer. She spent three years as a performer with the Village Green. — Courtesy photo

Howe said the actress who has inspired her the most is Kristin Chenoweth, who played the good witch in “Wicked.”

“She is an amazing singer and even greater actress,” Howe said. “She is a very comedic lady and she grew up from a small town and went to college and from there Broadway.”

Outside of the school productions, Howe also participated in Village Green — singers and dancers made up of students from the 10th through the 12th grades.

One of her favorite moments while in Village Green was being able to travel to Chicago and perform at the Field Museum.

Greenville High School Choir Director Joel Van Houten said Howe has been enjoyable to work with.

“She enjoys performing and it always shows on her face,” he said.

During high school, Howe took part in duel enrollment through Montcalm Community College. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with friends and family.

To help further her acting career, she also performed in productions at the Greenville Community Center and was even an extra in production shot at Grand Valley State University.

Howe will graduate at 3 p.m. Sunday with Greenville’s class of 2012. She received multiple scholarships to attend Saginaw Valley State University, including a scholarship through the arts and theater program.

While attending college, she hopes to study abroad in Italy or Rome and take part in the Disney Internship program in hope of being able to act as a character.

Howe chose to go to school in Saginaw after touring its campus. She wanted to stay somewhat close to home as she started her college career.

“I could see myself walking to class and going to school there,” Howe said.

Her dream job is to be on Broadway.

“Esha has had many wonderful opportunities during her tenure at Greenville High School through the musicals, plays and many performances as part of the Village Green Singers,” Van Houten said. “She loves to share her love of music from the stage.

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