Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Date Information

2018

Department

Theatre and Speech Communication

First Advisor

William Cunningham

Abstract

I never thought that I would be directing a full children’s theatre production while still being a full-time college student. When I was hired at the YMCA of the Northshore three and a half years ago, I never thought that I would be directing at all. At the time, I was very content with teaching my classes, and being a theatre camp counselor in the summer. I had no idea that just a few years later, I’d be not only directing at one of our seven locations, but finding my real passion. Now, I aspire to work full-time as a Creative Arts Director upon graduation, so I can continue this wonderful journey of theatre education across the Northshore. However, that is not what this is about. This past summer 2017, when Senior Creative Arts Director Nicole Heena asked if my schedule would allow me to be able to direct the fall show in the Haverhill location, I knew I had to figure out a way to do it. I’ve worked with the Haverhill students multiple times in the years that I’ve worked for the Y, and they have always been some of the kindest, most fun, caring children that I’ve gotten to work with. When I realized that I would be able to direct them, I did not even hesitate to say ‘yes.’ I knew that it would be difficult being in school full time and also directing, but I definitely wanted to make it work. Going into my thesis, I anticipated that I would be teaching these young actors about what it means to be an ensemble. That regardless of lead roles or how many lines their character has, that the work that they all did together to make the show was what was important, was what mattered. I had no idea the lessons that they instead would teach me, and how much I would learn about teaching in the process. I never had to “teach” these kids how to be an ensemble. The love these kids and the staff have for this program, its values, and each other brought this team together in ways I never could have imagined. Ensemble comes together as a result of great leadership, not only from staff, but from other actors, and those skills are ingrained in these particular actors from the smallest six year old to the oldest 15 year old. The Y Core Values of Respect, Caring, Honesty, and Responsibility taught these kids how to be an ensemble. I was just a guiding hand in that process.

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