The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


Beating the Odds


Senior Lily Reiff has one goal.

“Either be a writer or be a cast member, but just to be on SNL in general.”

Reiff has been in theater her whole life. From working with her dad, director for Shawnee Mission West Theater for about a decade, to winning Blue Star Award nomination in Shawnee Mission Northwest’s own musical, “The Addams Family.” 

At age eight, Reiff was building sets for her dad on nights he couldn’t get a babysitter. He’d pick her up straight from JCPRD and they’d go right to tech. 

“I was always there for tech nights,” Reiff said. “I was doing painting. I was doing everything.” 

But theater was always just a fun hobby for young Reiff. She’d never even considered it as a career. 

Young Reiff wanted to be an aerospace engineer. Her parents always told her that engineers made a lot of money. She was obsessed with space and loved the movie Hidden Figures, and decided she wanted to be like the women in the movie. But once Reiff experienced high school math class, she immediately changed her mind.

“So I decided, you know what? I’m just gonna do what I like,” Reiff said. “I’m gonna do something I excel at.” 

So she did. 

Reiff started out doing all the tech for the theatre. No auditions. But when she saw her friends acting in the plays, she wanted to be a part of it. She started moving some set pieces around, and it just evolved from there. She went on to play Wayne Hopkins in “The Puffs”, the grandma in “The Addams Family” and many more. 

Reiff plans on going to Graceland University, where both her parents attended, in the spring on a volleyball scholarship and is majoring in the performing arts. This major offers not only classes for theater, but film, script writing, acting, videography and everything that Reiff wants to pursue.

“0.1 percent of people get into ,” Reiff said. “And I’m like, maybe I’ll be that 0.1.”

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