Breaking in to Theatre

Before I came to Dartmouth, I loved doing theatre – performing, directing or just helping out. I loved being around the stage and I loved the relationships that form in that sort of environment. When I came to Dartmouth, I was worried about fitting into the Theatre scene. The Theatre Department directs one play a term called the mainstage. When I got here, I auditioned for the mainstage performance Breaking E.D.E.N. I was cast in the ensemble and it has been one of the most memorable experiences of my first fall term at Dartmouth.

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First of all, it’s been a really great way to meet upperclassman. As a freshman, this can be hard to do because we are grouped together a lot (through trips and various freshman activities). Once we were into ‘Hell Week’ (tech and dress rehearsals) I was spending 5+ hours in the theatre with 25 wonderful people and this – as you can imagine! – means that A LOT of bonding goes on. A typical rehearsal was to arrive at the theatre, a quick briefing from the stage manager and ASMs (assistant Stage managers), then picking up of the show from where we had left off. It was a huge time commitment but one that I don’t regret taking on at all. We wouldn’t always be working and there was a fair amount of down time and I’ve had some of my most interesting conversations during this down time.

Second of all, committing to this show was like a crash course in time management. I was spending every evening in the Bentley (the theatre) during Hell Week and – as fun as it was – it wasn’t an environment conducive to studying, or attempting to do anything productive. So I really had to plan out my time to be able to get assignments in on time. Time management is something that a lot of freshman struggle with and I wasn’t any different but I quickly learnt how necessary it was.

The Theatre Department is such a family here. They are so welcoming and excited about freshman joining and getting involved in shows. There is also so much to do! The DTC (Displaced Theatre Company) is in charge of student productions – mainly plays, the Harlequins is a group for musical theatre and the Rude Mechanicals is the student run Shakespeare group. The Rude Mechanicals is the only groups that requires an audition (and once in the group, you participate in their performances for your four years); the other two groups audition on a show to show basis. E.D.E.N. has allowed me to do so much in just my first term here and I am so excited about doing more with theatre here!

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