breaking news

Dolphins respond to Donald Trump with protest during national anthem

Seminole Ridge valedictorian aims to pursue career in theater

MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR: Rowan Pelfrey, 17

Rowan Pelfrey is like a lot of other high school students who like to watch television shows and movies about gruesome crimes and hideous characters. But, while most are doing it for the shock value, Pelfrey is paying close attention for a far different reason – she is honestly intrigued.

It’s not the blood and the crimes themselves that keep her rapt attention. It’s why those things even exist that has Pelfrey so engaged.

“I just love the sociology and looking at how society can make people really, really messed up,” Pelfrey said. “I love the shows and movies that have a story behind them.”

She loves the stories so much, in fact, that the Seminole Ridge High valedictorian is planning to make a career learning every single thing she can about those stories.

Pelfrey, 17, is headed to the University of West Florida, where she plans to double major in musical theater and history. The goal, at least with a couple months left in her senior year of high school, is to become a dramaturge.

Dramaturgy is, basically, the intense study of every aspect of a particular theatrical show, including design, style, past performances, history and anything else related to that production.

“It is researching everything you possibly can about a production’s history and gaining intelligence about anything that’s ever been done,” Pelfrey said. Many of the bigger productions usually have one on staff. I would think there is one working at the Kravis Center and other places like that.”

Dramaturgy combines several of Pelfrey’s loves.

She began acting on stage when she was in elementary school and Seminole Ridge needed someone to play the roll of Molly in “Annie” who was actually smaller than the lead role of Annie. Pelfrey’s mother works at Seminole Ridge and suggested she fill in since she met the size requirement.

The theater career grew from there. And then it began to incorporate her other love – singing.

Pelfrey has been singing since she was 6, performing weekly with the Praise Team at Palms West Presbyterian and showcasing her skills at the Florida Vocal Association’s state competition.

A member of her school’s Chamber Choir, she has earned superior ratings each of the last three years at that competition and will compete in April in the Musical and Theater categories.

“I love performing,” Pelfrey said. “There are lots of things that I like to do, but I love to perform musicals because I get to sing and act at the same time.”

Pelfrey’s road to valedictorian wasn’t one she concentrated on from day one.

After her freshman year, she was ranked in the Top 20 in her class and thought Top 10 might be a pretty good goal. She took some dual enrollment classes her sophomore year and some more classes in the summer and found herself ranked No. 2.

“Then I said I said I was going to go for it,” Pelfrey said. “But it wasn’t going to interfere with theater or choir.”

During her junior and senior years, she took enough dual enrollment and AP courses that her 4.0 unweighted GPA ballooned into a 5.2 weighted score and she ran away with the top ranking in her class. When she enters West Florida, she will have already completed her associate’s degree.

“I’ve worked hard for this,” Pelfrey said. “I always push myself to do really well, but I didn’t expect to be No. 1 when I started high school. But I worked hard to get there.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

LOOK: Rescuers help stranded dolphin in Florida Keys
LOOK: Rescuers help stranded dolphin in Florida Keys

A female dolphin stranded near the shores of Sugarloaf Key was helped by a group of rescuers on Saturday. A homeowner making repairs to his window broken after Hurricane Irma spotted the dolphin near his home around 11 a.m. He called the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and soon a group of people were helping to return the slightly burned female...
Melania Trump meets Prince Harry on first solo trip abroad as first lady
Melania Trump meets Prince Harry on first solo trip abroad as first lady

Melania Trump has completed her first solo duty as first lady outside of the United States, participating in a meeting with Prince Harry ahead of the Invictus Games - the multi-sport international event Harry created for wounded, injured or sick armed services members, and leading the U.S. delegation for the Games. On Saturday, the first...
NEW: Five displaced after Lake Worth apartment catches on fire
NEW: Five displaced after Lake Worth apartment catches on fire

The Red Cross is helping to find shelter for five people who were displaced after their Lake Worth apartment caught on fire. Palm Beach Fire Rescue responded to the fire around 6 a.m. today in the 700 block of North A Street. Crews located a fire in a front bedroom and extinguished it before it could damage surrounding apartments. No one was reported...
POST TIME: The Norleys, Part III: Two deaths and a return to school
POST TIME: The Norleys, Part III: Two deaths and a return to school

(Originally published March 17, 2016) Readers: This is the last of a three-parter on the Norleys; it’s a family story of tragedy and triumph. Dolores and Theodore “Skeeter” Norley already had dealt with their first son, Greg, being born with developmental challenges, and another son, David, vanishing at sea at age 16. The fates weren&rsquo...
POST TIME: The Norleys, Part II: A brave stand and a tragic vanishing
POST TIME: The Norleys, Part II: A brave stand and a tragic vanishing

(Originally published March 10, 2016) Readers: Last week we began telling the life story of Dolores Norley. Husband Theodore “Skeeter” Norley — many of his patients just called him “Doctor T” — had been just the second orthopedic surgeon in Palm Beach County. But he clashed with the establishment. He refused to treat...
More Stories