The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


Humans of Athens Drive: Emma Dilley

Photos by Brady Jones
Emma Dilley and other theater students pictured following their production of Little Women. The cast took a bow shortly after this picture was taken.

Performing brings me so much joy and makes me who I am

— Emma Dilley

Many high school students are able to find a passion for something that they enjoy. One student, in particular, is Athens’s own Emma Dilley. Dilley is a senior at The Drive who has found her interest in musical theater. Dilley has been involved in several musicals in and out of school. Recently, she played the role of Jo March in the musical Little Women here at Athens Drive. 

“Jo as a character really stands out to me because she puts her heart into doing the things she loves to make a living out of it,” said Dilley. 

Similar to Jo, Dilley is very passionate about the things she loves. Dilley puts countless hours into her musical roles. In the summer of 2023, Dilley also played a part in the Mean Girls production at NC Theater. Being involved in musicals outside of school gives Dilley the opportunity to practice her passion year-round. 

“I plan to audition for some more productions with places like them in this new year of 2024. I also take voice lessons at the Cary School of Music,” said Dilley. 

While being involved in productions with the theater at Athens and other performing companies helps Dilley exercise her talent, she also must focus on her school work. 

“I try my best to get as much homework done during the school day as possible. However, I normally focus on doing homework after my rehearsals,” said Dilley. 

When Dilley is at rehearsals, she prefers to focus on what is in front of her and completely lock into a theater mindset, compared to others who may attempt to work on other assignments with any spare time they may have during rehearsals. 

“I want to use the time to continue rehearsing for whatever production I’m in because I’m in that theater zone. In order for me to do school work, I would need to be in a full work zone, not a theatre zone,” said Dilley.

When Dilley doesn’t have any extracurricular activities after school, she prefers to take a nap so that she is more energized to complete her work when she wakes up. However, oftentimes, Dilley does not get to go home right after school and instead has to stay for theater rehearsals. 

“When it comes to tech week and dress rehearsals, those go through the weekend and can be as long as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. During that week we can end up staying after school until 6 or 7 p.m.,“ said Dilley. 

School rehearsals last around two or two and a half hours. The theater programs that Dilley participates in outside of school have similar rehearsal schedules. Dilley mentions that her theatre outside school can require even more time than school. Dilley also participates in the chorus, which requires time for its own rehearsals. 

“A lot of our rehearsal time for concerts and such is in class during the school day. It doesn’t require much after-school time,” said Dilley. 

Dilley’s plan for the future is to go to college for musical theater. She has been accepted to Meredith College and is also applying to Elon and ECU. 

“I have so much love for musical theater, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I would love to pursue a career in this field. Performing brings me so much joy and makes me who I am,” said Dilley. 


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