It’s been several months since we lost one of our San Marin High Drama family members, Kimi Augusto, who died in a car accident on May 31.
On the day of the accident, I sat in disbelief, not wanting to believe that she could be gone. I spent hours in our drama room pouring over pictures of Kimi. San Marin Advanced Drama forms a sort of family of actors. They are a team like no other. Like any family we came together to grieve that week. Many students came back from college and the room was full of tears and funny stories in our memories of Kimi.
As school begins and I look at her many pictures that adorn the drama room walls, I would like to share some of my memories of Kimi.
The beautiful and talented Augusto sisters, Kimi and Victoria, joined our drama department in the fall of 2006. Our spring play that year was Pride and Prejudice. Enthusiasm was overwhelming. Kimi had practically memorized the book and the movies and often sat with me at lunch to help me plan actors’ actions and the ballroom scenes.
After the show, I announced that we would take a theater tour to England the following spring. There were screams of delight! In April 2008, 15 sophomores, juniors and senior students and five chaperones boarded the plane for England.
Kimi caught the eye of a very attractive Oxford University student. They talked throughout the flight and he gave her a kiss just before we landed. From then on Kimi constantly asked, “Can’t we go to Oxford, Ms. K?” Oxford was not on the itinerary, but we did tour all the wonderful sites in London, attended three theater workshops and three plays including Wicked, which became one of Kimi’s favorite shows ever.
A song from that show was sung at her funeral.
We headed to Stonehenge in a snowstorm. Although it was fiercely cold, Kimi considered this spot among her favorites in England. We did go to Jane Austen’s house in Chawton; for us Jane fans (Kimi being the head of the fan club), it was real treat seeing the little round table where Jane wrote Pride and Prejudice.
On the last day of the trip, five of us including Kimi went to a little tea house (The Muffin Man) near the hotel. We delighted at being served high tea but were particularly thrilled with the delicious scones.
From the time we returned until she graduated, Kimi baked scones for each Monday night advanced drama class. It became a tradition and a little bit of England that we all looked forward to with great anticipation.
Kimi was a splendid actress: The uppity Caroline Bingley in Pride and Prejudice, the sad and stricken, Mrs. Otto Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank, the sarcastic and biting Judith Canfield in Stage Door, the nervous and scared Veronica in Figments and the calculating, Genevra Bradley in Bright Ideas.
Kimi and her co star, Michael Stephan, worked endless mornings on their parts before opening night of Bright Ideas. On the big night, Kimi was not feeling well but still did great work. The next day she was diagnosed with mono, and Kimi wasn’t able to return to the show until the final night. Kimi and Michael surprised the audience and me with Eskimo kisses instead of the real thing. It brought down the house.
As the San Marin Drama teacher, I am blessed with knowing most of my students for three or four years. I see how they progress through high school and launch into adult life. Kimi was only 20 and just starting her life.
Why did this beautiful, witty and talented young woman have to be taken from us? I struggle with this question so much. I do want her family to know what a big and memorable part of our drama family she was. I feel privileged that I was her teacher and I got to show her a little bit of the world.
Kimi’s memory will always be in our hearts.