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March 3, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 12

In Their Own Voices: Students On Theater at BC

What drew me to BC's theater department is that it's not a conservatory program. It's a part of a liberal arts education, which means that it doesn't just prepare you for a life of acting, it teaches the whole person. So it forces you to learn and appreciate all aspects of theater. Also, BC Theater is a very tightly knit community. Because it's on the small side, you really get the impression that the professors and staff really care about you and what you're doing in and out of theater. The students who are involved are not just studying theater as a job, it's something they love, and it's so refreshing to be surrounded by people who are completely devoted to their craft. -Crystal Gomes '05

Our major is so small that everyone becomes very close very quick. There are always student projects going on in which everyone gets involved. [One] highlight would have to be a play I was in last semester, "Necessary Targets." It was a small and intimate cast of only seven females, so we bonded really quickly. I absolutely loved working with those girls, and they are so talented there is no doubt they will succeed.

I am also involved in a new student group here at BC called After Hours Theater. It was begun by me and one of my fellow senior theater majors, Madeline Long, last year to provide more opportunities for student work. This was done with much support from the faculty and other students. Now we are in our third semester of production and are working to keep up the tradition after we both graduate.

-Jennifer Boarini '05

In my four years here, I have learned not only about acting, but also theater history, theater production, and contemporary drama. BC's program allows you to explore all aspects of theater, and gives you a broader understanding of what theater truly is. You can be a director, a costume designer, a set-builder, and an actor all in the same year. I was also lucky to have been cast in a wide variety of plays at Boston College. I have tackled some really daunting pieces with focuses on the Nazi regime and the Bosnian War, and I have had the opportunity to dance and sing in a couple of musicals. I am doing a really clever comedy this spring, so I think that will be a highlight, performance-wise.

-Julienne Penza '05

I had the opportunity to work with [Assoc. Prof.] Scott Cummings last winter on a production he directed, "Abingdon Square." It was the first dramatic lead I had at Boston College and Scott just made the experience so special for me. In addition to being my director, Scott is also my academic advisor/mentor/friend. It's so great to be able to go in and talk to him about not only my future, but how things are going in general. All of the professors in the department are like that. They always make themselves available to the students as mentors and friends. They encourage us to follow our dreams while giving us the practical knowledge and skills to be able to succeed.

-Chris Tocco '06

I am a junior theater major, with a double major in biology. It's a full schedule but it's interesting how I spend as much if not more time working on theater projects and homework than many of my biology courses! I did plan on being a theater major when I entered BC, although I was planning on concentrating on acting, a desire that gradually developed into a deeper interest in directing and dramaturgy.

My experience at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival competition was different than most other participants because I had to submit a portfolio of my work a month ahead of time. The whole process involved two essays, letters of recommendation, and a trip to Providence to take part in a "Dramaturgy Response Session" in which I met the three panelists who judged the work of the applicants.

All in all, I learned more about dramaturgy sitting in a room for a few hours with all those other dramaturges than I ever expected.

-Megan Rulison '06

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