Since he was 2 years old, CCSD21 alumnus Henry Allan has been performing. His first depiction, Jon Bon Jovi – and he nailed it! Since then, his life has been filled with creative endeavors: writing, directing, singing, composing, arranging and directing, among other talents. You could say he’s a prodigy, driven to make his creative dreams come true. And while many of his skills were self taught, Allan’s formal training started in CCSD21 – first at Field Elementary School where he performed in the fifth grade talent show. Teachers like Mr. Gensteen supported him through his developmental growth. At London Middle School, drama teachers Ms. Bischkie and Ms. Fletcher gave him formal lessons, while music teachers Ms. Stash and Ms. Riewaldt helped tune his ear and enhance his musical ability. It was in sixth grade that Allan’s heart was set on a career in theater.
He performed in several shows at London Middle School, but it was his role as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof that was most impactful. “It was my first role ever in a musical and I was hooked. I started studying all I could about theater, starting with my school knowledge and growing from there. It started me on the path that led me toward who I am today,” said Allan. After graduating Buffalo Grove High School with show choir and acapella talent under his belt, Allan went on to perform professionally in many plays and musicals, including “School of Rock,” “tick, tick… BOOM!,” “Les Miserables,” “Godspell,” “James and the Giant Peach,” and many, many more. And his dream of making a living in theater has come true.
He’s currently writing a brand new musical as well as editing ones he’s completed all while taking online classes for music production. His advice to current District 21 students: “Don’t give up on your dreams. You can make them a reality,” said Allan. He should know. He’s been lucky enough to see his work come to life on stage.