5 Star Student: Theater's triple threat

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A 10th grader at Eastside High School in Coeburn is turning heads with her multiple talents: she can sing, act, and play several instruments.

Hadassah White is staring in theatrical productions around Southwest Virginia, but actually got her start behind the scenes.

"I didn't want to be on stage, so I was in the tech crew," said Hadassah.

But watching from the wings wasn't enough for her, so she began taking on roles that put her in front of the audience. She said transitioning to on-stage roles was nerve-wracking at first, but said she has since overcome those fears.

"I don't get nervous anymore because now I do this all the time," said Hadassah.

She plays the guitar and ukulele, and wants to learn even more instruments to incorporate in her string band.

"In our string band we already have the banjo and the fiddle. I'd like to learn the dulcimer or the autoharp," said Hadassah.

Shane Burke is the Eastside theater director. He said Hadassah's many talents make her a standout performer.

"Its really interesting that she's interested in musical theater and that she's studying it classically. She's dabbled in some opera as well," said Burke.

Burke also directed Hadassah in the show "Trail of the Lonesome Pine."

"I played Loretta. She's very sassy which is something I've never done before, so the character was really hard for me. But I had a lot of fun with her and that was one of my favorite shows," said Hadassah.

Burke said in the end, Hadassah gave an incredible performance as Loretta.

Hadassah said she'd like to pursue musical theater professionally.

If you know a 5 Star Student like her, send an email to

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