Lewisburg Native onstage pursuing dream

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

For as long as Luke Collins can remember, he knew he wanted to perform on a stage. At the

age of five, he went to his first show: Charlotte’s Web. In high school, he still showed interest in

drama. This is where he met the man that brought him to where he is today, Dave Sanders.

Sanders was the English and Drama teacher at the time. Collins idolized Sanders, and he’s not

the only one. According to Collins, many others looked up to Sanders as a mentor and an

inspiration. Sanders has a special way of connecting with others with the craft.

“If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t have the love and appreciation I have for theatre today,”

Collins said. “I owe him a great deal and wish he got to see some of the things I’ve

accomplished.”

He describes himself as a late bloomer. During in teenage years, Collins actually thought he

would spend the rest of his life in a rock band. It wasn’t until his senior year he performed in his

first full musical production at The Dixie in Marshall County. Within that same year, the choir

team visited Disney and toured backstage where he realized he could be a make a career out of

something he loves: performing on stage.

Collins supports having theatre arts in high schools because it helps kids like him figure out

what they want to do with their future. He couldn’t imagine not having it.

“Theatre is a form of expression. For some kids school is difficult,” Collins said. “Theatre can be

their sanctuary. It’s where they can truly be themselves. It also exposes them to a sense of

community and camaraderie where they might not be getting it elsewhere.”

Back then, Collins didn’t realize how much work went into it, but that would not stop him. He

went to school for two years to grasp the fundamentals of theatre, dance, and voice. Collins

eventually auditioned which led to callbacks and job opportunities. He has worked for Dollywood

in over nine productions for the past five years on and off. Collins has also performed overseas

in Germany and local theatre in Nashville. He is on tour with Paw Patrol Live “Race to the

Rescue”.

During his free time, he seeks other job opportunities because in his words, “contracts don’t last

forever.” He hopes to one day be on Broadway, a feature film, or a sitcom.

“Theatre is timeless, and everybody has a story,” Collins said. “At times we feel alone and think

there’s no one in this world that understands where we’re coming from. But somewhere

someone is writing it. Maybe it’s you.”