PIERZ - Since the 4th grade, Pierz Healy High School senior Cassie Virnig has had a never-ending passion for acting and theater.

"My favorite part is to hear the reactions of the audience. Like, if I can make them laugh so hard that they just don't stop....goals," Virnig says.

Cassie Virnig playing her role in a recent performance of "Into the Woods" (Submitted Photo)
Cassie Virnig playing her role in a recent performance of "Into the Woods" (Submitted Photo)

With an outgoing personality and a dash of never ending energy, Cassie isn't afraid to constantly try new characters, personalities or even accents.

"Even in everyday life, I'll walk down the hall and yell something just totally out of the blue to see how many people look up. I just like to see how people react to different things."


Her hard work and passion was on full display last month, where she spent countless hours preparing to play the witch in “Into the Woods”. Her director and teacher, Diane Hauan says the witch is a difficult character to play and it took lots of practice for Cassie to nail the performance.

"She studied Meryl Streep, who was the witch in the movie. She took hours to study her character and how she did the lines, it's hours that she spends learning a character."

Cassie says she usually spent several hours practicing every day, so much time that she still can’t get the songs out of her head.

"I'll hear a word and will just know a song because they don't leave your head, I still wake up sometimes and have the 'Into the Woods' music in my head."

Hauan says she’s had 6,000-7,000 students over her years of teaching and that Cassie is one of the most talented she’s ever directed on stage.

"I've done 37 musicals, there's always one or two [students] who stand out, Cassie is one of those. If she wants to, she'll be on broadway and accepting the Tony in the next 25 years."

Cassie will continue her theater career next year at the University of Minnesota-Mankato. The ending of her recent performance is something she says she’ll never forget.

"You could see the silhouettes of people in the audience and they stood up and gave rounds of applause. I was like: 'this is who I am.' The satisfaction of having people realize how hard we work."

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