Impact of Theatre in my life

 

4 years ago I came to Regis looking to play Baseball and receive a good education from a Jesuit university. After one semester at Regis, I was cut from the Baseball team and was in need of something new to put my talents and time to. My work-study job since I began at Regis has been in University Ministry. Working in University Ministry put me in contact with many of the departments at Regis including the theatre and music department. In High School I participated in a few of the plays and productions done by the theatre department by working in the stage crew. I enjoyed my experiences of being a part of the productions and decided to join Regis Ramblers, which is the club that puts on a production every spring. I did not do any behind the scenes work for the play but was cast into a role as one of the actors.

The experience of being a part of Ramblers for my first two years at Regis opened my eyes to the beauty and benefits that come with theatre. In High School I never thought that I could be a part of something like theatre, in the acting sense, because I did not think I was artsy enough and I believed I would not fit in with that crowd. My time with Ramblers taught me that anyone can be a part of theater and that theater is not limited to plays and big productions. My time at Regis has allowed me to see all the different ways that theater can be used in our day-to-day lives and in so many different ways. Regis’ improv group, OutRegis, have put on events that I, like much of the Regis community, has enjoyed watching. Not only has the improv group put on funny and entertaining shows, but they have also been able to talk about and focus on many issues that are at the forefront of our society.

One of the biggest issues that OutRegis has performed about in the past has been sexual assault. After my first three years at Regis and seeing the different ways theater can be brought to life and conveyed today, I decided to sign up for Janna Goodwin’s Theatre and Justice Workshop course. I was hesitant about the class at first because even though I have been a part of theatre productions in the past, I still am not the most comfortable when it comes to acting and choreography. Janna’s teaching and the ways we gradually went into the different techniques of devised theatre made the process very enjoyable to be a part of. Most of the people in the class did not have a lot, if any, experience in theatre but were very open to what we were being taught and introduced to. As our Family Origins project for the class began getting traction, we as a class began seeing how devised theatre can be used in so many different ways and by anyone who is open to the process.

Once Daniel Valdez came and started working with our class, the ideas and options he presented us that we could use for our performance seemed to be endless. His enthusiasm and imagination that came to life with each telling of our family stories gave each of us a new outlook on what this performance could become. Each person in the class continued to break free of some of the bad habits and fears that we had when it came to our acting and talking. I began to completely immerse myself into my role. The production was a success and each of us were so happy and proud of what we had been able to accomplish and bring to life in a short few months. The biggest takeaway from this course and project for me is how valuable theatre can be and how endless the different ways you can use and perform devised theatre. I have been blessed to be a part of such a wonderful experience during my time at Regis and I plan on participating in devised theatre like this after I graduate in May.

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