Every graduating class at Dominican is full of talented students. Today, many alums of the Dominican stage still shine like stars in everything they do.
Ever since its foundation, the Drama Club has been shaping students to continue to follow their dreams of being on stage. Four women – Ms. Christian Tarzetti (’14), Mrs. Christy Hedlund Benoit (’06), Mrs. Lindsey Romig Price (’01), and Mrs. Liza Lagarde Salzer (’82) – are alums who give a toast of praise to Dominican for their success.
Performing in her fifth and final Dominican spring musical, Mrs. Christian Tarzetti (’14) wows the crowd in Hello, Dolly! Tarzetti was an active member of the Drama Club and portrayed Irene Molloy in the show for her senior year.
Ms. Christian Tarzetti (’14), was a five-year member of the Drama Club who starred as Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly! in Dominican’s spring musicals. She went on to begin her first year of college at Loyola University while doing a year-long internship in Walt Disney World.
Since Ms. Tarzetti’s return from playing multiple Disney princesses in Disney World, she has starred as Jane in Tarzan the Musical, Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family and Wendy in Peter Pan at two local community theatres, Rivertown and JPAS. Along with singing and dancing on stage, Tarzetti salutes the United States as a Victory Belle at the National WWII Museum.
“Being involved in the drama club at Dominican not only gave me experiences that I will remember forever but shaped me into the performer I am today,” said Ms. Tarzetti.
Some alums were more academically involved in high school and found their spotlight after graduating. DHS alum Mrs. Lisa Lagarde Salzer (’82) didn’t get a taste of performing on stage until her senior year in 1982 when she joined the singing group, Celebration! “When I joined Celebration!, I discovered my love for being on stage through singing at school gyms, nursing homes, Mardi Gras floats and even Superdome half time shows,” said Mrs. Salzer.
Though not in the Drama Club, Mrs. Salzer could be found at National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and student council meetings during her high school years. It wasn’t until as an adult that she began doing musical theatre at St. Luke’s Wing and a Prayer Productions.
After sending off her own children to college, “Hollywood South” presented Mrs. Salzer some opportunities to get involved in local movie, TV and commercial productions. She currently works as a regular stand-in for renowned actresses such as Nicole Kidman, Jessica Lange and Margot Robbie.
When asked to give advice to those interested in theatre, Mrs. Salzer said, “I encourage everyone, no matter your age or experience, to get off the sidelines if you’ve always wanted to, and join in the parade, show, or whatever production you desire because the rewards are tremendous and your opportunities to shine are limitless.”
One of the five pillars of Dominican, service, is a virtue that is practiced and taught through the students’ years here. Service has become a part of alum Mrs. Christy Hedlund Benoit’s (’06) life. Mrs. Benoit is the Development and Communications Director at Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, a nonprofit organization that promotes classical and contemporary dance. She handles the fundraising and marketing efforts for the ballet, which includes writing grant proposals, planning special events and coordinating volunteers.
Mrs. Benoit began dancing at 5 years old and went on to perform in the spring musicals at Dominican eighth grade through senior year. Ms. Benoit earned a degree in Arts Administration after she witnessed cuts to arts programming while she was a student at LSU.
“I knew how much my arts education at Dominican shaped me as a performer, and I wanted to make sure others had access to those same experiences,” Mrs. Benoit said. Although most of her work is behind the scenes, Mrs. Benoit still takes class, teaches ballet to students, and even performs on occasion.
Some alums may not be on stage but are working behind the scenes to make a production magical. Mrs. Lindsay Romig (’01) is a choreographer who works with local community theaters and high schools, including Dominican’s Spring Musicals. At the University of New Orleans, Mrs. Price graduated with a masters in counselor education.
During her time at DHS, Mrs. Price was vice president of the E-board, a Dominican cheerleader and a Rally Day cheerleader. Mrs. Price was in the Drama Club and performed in all five of the spring musicals.
“Having never danced before, Dominican really brought me out of my shell,” Mrs. Price said. “It prepared me to go on and know that I can do anything I put my mind to.”
Mrs. Rosalie Abadie and Mrs. Marcia Peyton, ’78, have been inspiring and mentoring performers for more than 20 years. “We try our hardest to ensure that each student who joins the Drama Club walks out with memories that they will cherish forever,” Mrs. Peyton says, “It is a great experience to be a part of something like this in high school because it sets the foundation for the rest of a student’s life.
- Claire Dinwiddie