There is a common saying among the Washington University student theater community: once you get sucked into theater, you never leave. Most of us have been doing theater since high school, although some began more recently, and almost none of us want to pursue theater professionally. Even so, we dedicated hours of our time to put on the best possible production for our audiences.
I acted for all four years of high school and loved it. There is nothing quite like getting up on stage and feeding off of the crowd’s energy. But when I got to college, I decided to switch gears and go into costume design. I joined Cast n’ Crew, one of the student theater groups on campus, and was quickly pulled in to the organized chaos of working on a completely student-run show.
I worked on both shows my first year, and then was elected into the swing position on the executive board for my sophomore year. I loved being able to see the more administrative side of things, and was elected again onto board in the publicity position for my junior year. I still work in the costume department for the group, and I enjoy the duality of helping organize the larger production while still being creative.
The community is the number one reason why I stayed involved with theater in college. It’s an activity that naturally requires people to work together and trust each other, and you can’t do that without having good relations with each other. While everyone in student theater has different academic interests, we are all pulled together by our love for producing shows. Theater has become home base for me. We get dinners together, celebrate birthdays, go to other shows in St. Louis, etc., and I love being a part of this large community where I can always find people to hang out with.
Even though it can be stressful at times and is a serious commitment, I would not trade my theater experiences for the world. It gives me a chance to get my head out of my books and become a creative problem solver, all while being surrounded by my best friends.