MIDDLEPORT, N.Y. (WIVB) - Many local high schools are showcasing their talented students, and putting on their Spring musicals right now. And at one WNY school, a senior is celebrating a major milestone: she's been cast in 11 musicals over the years.
Mackenzie Rothwell, of Middleport, was first cast in the Royalton-Hartland High School musical when she was in first grade.
It was Oklahoma! and I played little Laurey," she said, describing her first role. "I was the little version of another one of the lead girls, and I did a little dance number. I was featured and did a little solo type thing."
Eleven years later, she's now a senior looking back at all the amazing times she's had on stage. This year, she's a lead female role in 'Seussical.' It's her fourth year getting cast as a lead role.
Mackenzie has choreographed every dance she's done... even the one she performed when she was just a first grader. She's a singer, dancer and actor and she said she's never really been nervous on the big stage.
Her favorite role was Millie, in Thoroughly Modern Millie. The musical won a Kenny Award, which is Western New York's high school musical theater awards program, and the cast performed the production on Shea's stage.
"I remember when I was a little girl, and seeing the senior girls, they would always look at me and be like, 'you're going to be here some day, like you have to soak this up,'" she said. "Now that it's here, it's crazy to think about, like the fact that I'm one of the senior girls now. There may be little girls that look up to me. I think that's amazing."
After this, Mackenzie plans to go to school to become a pediatric dentist, which has been a lifelong dream. She may try to continue acting here-and-there after graduation, but for now, she's relishing in the moment as she performs for the last time on the stage that's become home.
Rothwell's last performance at Royalton-Hartland High School will be Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.