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Brownsville senior developing lengthy resume

| Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, 8:55 p.m.
Lexie Rohlf portrays Elle Woods in the musical production 'Legally Blonde' that hits the Geyer Performing Arts Center stage in Scottdale this weekend. Rachel Basinger | For the Daily Courier
Lexie Rohlf, 17 of Brownsville plays the lead role of Elle Woods in 'Legally Blonde' at the Geyer Performing Arts Center in Scottdale. Credit: Geyer Performing Arts Center

Think about your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, and the mouth-watering treats covering every inch of the festive tables.

Multiply that by the number of guests seated at those tables to see what Brownsville Area High School senior Lexie Rohlf has on her plate, with her resume already longer than the nearby National Road.

For openers, Rohlf is vice president of the National Honor Society, and a member of the school's community-service-oriented Leo and Tri-Hi-Y clubs and French National Honor Society. She is captain of the Math competition, Academic League, and Robotics teams.

She writes for the school paper, assists with tutoring and works in the guidance office. She was a member of the school's majorette squad as a freshman and sophomore before taking on the responsibilities of drum major the past two years.

In the school's musical presentations, as a freshman she was cast as Carrie in “Carousel” and had the leading roles of Anna in “The King and I” and Elle in “Legally Blonde” during her sophomore and junior years, respectively. (Auditions for this year's musical “The Wedding Singer” are being held this month.) With straight A's and a 4.0 grade-point average, she is ranked among the elite students in Brownsville's senior class and was honored by the Brownsville Rotary Club as Student of the Month for October.

This past August, after a mini-pageant and audition at Brownsville, she was the school's representative at the 59th Annual Pennsylvania Bituminous Coal Pageant in Carmichaels. At the pageant, where she was named third runner-up, her talent presentation was a medley from “Phantom of the Opera.”

In the impromptu question interview, she was presented with a mundane “Are you a giver or a taker?” question, reminiscent of a query presented to Sandra Bullock in “Miss Congeniality.”

However, Rohlf's response was more suited to an answer before a congressional committee: “I am both,” she replied, perhaps stunning some onlookers. And she was correct.

“I am a giver in that I give to others through community service,” she said, “but I am a taker in that I take advantage of all opportunities available to me.”

Plentiful those opportunities have been, and she has indeed taken advantage of every second.

Becky Mitchell, Coal Queen Pageant chairwoman, recalls Rohlf as carrying herself “with great poise. She was very personable and a delightful individual to spend time with during the pageant. Lexie represented Brownsville very well.”

Brownsville Area English teacher April Belback was not surprised by Rohlf's response at the pageant.

“Lexie was in my English classes during her sophomore and junior years, and she was one of the best students I've ever had,” Belback said. “She is very particular about what she does and strives to be the best writer and student she can be. On projects or with research, she rewrites to make sure everything is exactly as she wants it. Her presentations have been outstanding.”

Besides seeing Rohlf in action during English class, Belback worked as choreographer with the active teen in Brownsville's musicals.

“Lexie is a triple threat on the stage,” Belback noted. “She can sing, act and dance and she puts her whole heart and soul into everything, on stage, backstage, in the classroom. Cast members look up to her as a leader, and I look to her for help. Lexie demonstrates exceptional leadership qualities and is respected by her peers. She is ready to move on beyond high school. I will miss her as a student and as a person. Lexie is someone I can look to as an example for other students.”

Kristen Tunney, theater manager at Geyer Performing Arts Center in Scottdale, has observed Rohlf in community theater presentations, noting that she has performed at Geyer nearly 10 years, in addition to performing on other area community theater stages throughout the area.

“Lexie is incredibly gifted,” Tunney said, reiterating Belback's “triple threat” comment. “She is a consummate performer and tremendous singer. She has grown tremendously since I first saw her at Geyer. I've watched her mature into a young lady and solid actress.”

But when the lights dim, Rohlf finds time to volunteer at Geyer Theater, either cleaning out the warehouse or serving as an office intern.

“Lexie stood out as Anna in ‘The King and I' (at Brownsville),” Tunney continued. “It is such an adult role for a young person. I saw so much growth in her as a performer in that role.”

Despite that role, Rohlf looks to portraying Elle in “Legally Blonde” as her favorite.

“First of all, I loved the movie,” she said, “and being able to play that character was awesome. I looked up to Elle's character and all she represented.”

With her high school career winding down, Rohlf is undecided about college plans, but lists Duke University, Point Park University in Pittsburgh and the University of Pennsylvania as her top three choices.

“Wherever I go to school, I plan to have a double major in music and theater, then law school,” she said, having a definite plan in mind.

Regardless of college or career, Belback said she is sure that Rohlf “will be successful.”

Les Harvath is a freelance writer.

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