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Spotlight on BRADEN KOCH

Please welcome to the blog... Braden Koch! Braden is a senior and will soon be completing his final year with Broken Box after two years as an actor with the company. Braden also had the idea of having a website, Instagram, Facebook, and forming partnerships with other clubs on campus. He has worked hard on forming a base for Broken Box's new social media ventures and hopes it will grow in future years. Scroll below to learn more about Braden and his experiences with Broken Box and theatre in general.

Why did you decide to audition for Broken Box Theatre Company?

I joined Broken Box in junior year. I decided to audition because my two older siblings had been a part of Broken Box. I heard how they grew their acting skills with Mrs. Moran in the class. I wanted to do the same and grow my theatre techniques further as well.

What was your first theatrical experience?

When I was six years old, I participated in a summer camp with Peninsula Youth Theatre's Theatre in the Park program. I was the March Hare in Alice in Wonderland. However, my first production on a real stage with a large audience was a musical with PYT when I was eight years old. It was Aladdin and His Wonderful, Magical Lamp, and I played the executioner.

Braden Koch as Chop Chop the executioner in PYT's "Aladdin...", Photo by Spotlight Moments Photography

What does Broken Box mean to you in one phrase?

Chaos, but good chaos.

What is a favorite memory from Broken Box?

A favorite one has to be when as a class, we did a white elephant gift exchange before the holiday break. I had picked out a gift that was in a wine bag from the pile of presents in the middle of the circle. Upon opening the gift, it turned out to be a mayonnaise jar filled with whipped cream and a straw. Of course, nobody wanted to exchange gifts with me. Once the exchange game had concluded, Alex Brett ran outside the classroom and returned with a giant monkey. Ever since that day, the monkey has been lovingly named "Leroy" after Alex's character in Don't Try to Wake Him, Hand Me the Shovel. Now, Leroy comes to all the tech weeks to provide a place to destress and relax.

Alex Brett (left) and Braden Koch (right) with Leroy on the day of the gift exchange

What do you hope achieve while being in Broken Box?

Generally, I hope to advance my skills as an actor physically and mentally. Over the course of my two years with Broken Box, I have been able to zero in on "becoming the character." This is especially important for dramas with very "real" characters. I have lots of experience with playing basically cartoons in musicals, but I've never really had the chance to fully embody a very real character in a dramatic sense. In fact, the only dramas I've ever done are with Broken Box. They were the The Remarkable Incident at Carson Corners and Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry. I thank Broken Box for giving me the opportunity to broaden my dramatic skills by expanding past musicals and comedies.

What are three words that best describe you?

I am hard-working, meticulous, and fun!

What are some of your past Broken Box credits?

I was Dan in The Lonely Hearts Club, Joey in The Remarkable Incident at Carson Corners, Coach Hathaway in Don't Try to Wake Him, Hand Me the Shovel, Ryan in Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry, and Apollo/Nestor/Man and others in The Iliad, the Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less.

Also, I worked alongside the Publicity Manager this year, Mia Van Deloo, to form the base of social media platforms for the class. We love this class and wanted more people to feel connected and informed of what we do. Also, I helped form a special partnership with RAINN Club when we were producing Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry. I worked with the club so that they could present informational sheets and publicize their club's mission at our performances. I believe Broken Box and RAINN raised awareness about sexual assault effectively as a result.

What makes you most happy?

Mario Kart, In-N-Out, spending time with my family, traveling, and a good haircut.

Do you have a dream role?

I don't necessarily have a dream role, but I have shows that I'd love to be a part of. However, I'd be hyped to play Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Vice Principal Douglas Panch or Mitch Mahoney in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, or any role in Sunday in the Park with George.

What are some of your past theatre credits outside of Broken Box?

I have been participating in PYT productions for a decade now. I have been doing musicals since I was eight years old and Stories on Stage productions since I was twelve. Some credits I have include Mike Teavee in Willy Wonka, Horton in Seussical, Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad, Rolf in The Sound of Music, Mysterious Man in Into the Woods, and Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher. As for the Stories on Stage program, I was recently The Cat in the Hat in The Cat in the Hat. About a week ago, I took my final bow with PYT as The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance. It's definitely a weird feeling to have such a large chapter of my life come to a close.

Braden Koch as The Pirate King in PYT's "The Pirates of Penzance", Photo by Spotlight Moments Photography

Also, I have lots of tech experience under my belt. I have stage managed multiple Stories on Stage productions, media designed a production of Little Shop of Horrors, and directed a vignette from Neil Simon's The Good Doctor in Mountain View's One-Act Play Festival. Here's an article the Los Altos Town Crier wrote about me and my final hurrah with PYT and another article that mentioned my teen-directing experience:

Braden will be attending Chapman University in the fall and will be majoring in Communication Studies. We will greatly miss Braden and all he introduced to Broken Box. We wish him the best of luck on his adventures after high school!

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