Mercy High School senior Tori Khalil has performed in nearly a dozen musicals and many more chorus and dance recitals. But her favorite role was this winter, in her school's production of "The Secret Garden." She plays Martha, the wise and generous chambermaid. "She teaches about striving through the hard times," says Tori. "I think she's one of the most interesting characters I've played and I just love her."
Tori is a workhorse when it comes to theater and performance. She also participates in community theater, dance classes, and charity projects. To top it off, she's a top-notch student. "In order to keep rehearsing and doing shows I have to keep my schoolwork up so I just learn to balance it and keep working through it. I'm a night owl so I just stay up late and finish it." Next year, Tori will study acting at NYU. She says no amount of nervousness about performing, can overshadow the joy of being on stage. Mercy H.S. theater teacher Megan Bianchi has high hopes for Tori. "My hope is that even as she goes away to NYU and theater becomes much more intense and competitive that Tori always keeps the joy and innocence of her love of theater, that she has now." The role of Martha may have capped Tori's high school musical career. But for this exceptional student, it's the launch of a whole new journey in theater.