I grew up in a creative household. My father (an architect) and my mother (a dancer) both encouraged me to pursue many artistic forms. As a child I was a voracious reader and writer, and also loved to paint, draw, and create fantastic imaginary worlds on the playground.
Looking back, I realize that my many interests had a common thread: story. I loved hearing and telling stories. If I’m honest with myself, I loved the attention I got from telling stories. Sensing my creative spirit, my parents strove to provide many avenues for me to explore, play, and imagine. My parents are most certainly one of the reasons I became a Theatre major at SPU.
During my first quarter, I took “Production Practicum” — the class in which students build all the technical aspects of SPU’s productions (set, costumes, lights, sound). That experience introduced me to the amazing community that is SPU Theatre: upperclassmen who take their roles as mentors seriously, freshmen who become collaborators and friends, and exceptionally caring theatre faculty.
My faith grew during my study of theatre at SPU and changed how I live it out in the work I do and the way I live. I learned that theatre allows us to bear witness to one another’s stories, and to break through the walls that we so often place between ourselves and others, and between ourselves and God.
Highlights of my time in SPU’s Theatre Department include being part of the production of Dancing at Lughnasa my sophomore year and my work as production dramaturg during the 2010–11 season. During that year I was able to put into practice all that I had read and thought about in an independent study with Dr. Andrew Ryder, in whom I found a supportive mentor who held me to a high standard. His encouragement of my initial curiosity about dramaturgy is the reason I decided to pursue a graduate degree in the field.
Now in my second year pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dramaturgy at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, I serve as a teaching assistant for Theater 100, in addition to classes and production work. My current research interests include South African theatre, theories of adaptation, and new play development.
My experience in the SPU Theatre program was rich and diverse. I was mentored by theatre artists who understand theatre as a force for change and enlightenment both in individual lives and in the midst of community. To paraphrase Samuel Beckett, I was given a gift that is essential for the development of all artists: the space to try, fail, and try again.