What are you doing now/will you be doing for the Studio in the coming months?
I’m currently a student at Columbia University in Manhattan, studying Theatre and Political Science. I’ll be returning to the Studio as a director of the summer show, after six years of being a student!
What’s the most high-impact lesson you learned being a Studio student, and how is it helping you in your life today?
One of the most important things I’ve learned is to never undervalue the role of the understudy. When the Studio put up Into the Woods in the spring of my highschool freshman year, I was cast as Jack’s Mother. While I was incredibly excited to be a part of the production, what I had really wanted was the role of the Witch. So, after realizing no understudy had been cast, I asked Ms. Erica if I could shadow the Witch, learning all of her lines and blocking, and filling in for her when she had to miss rehearsal. I was incredibly excited just to be awarded this opportunity: to learn and grow by studying a role I was probably not quite ready for. However, when tech week rolled around, circumstances arose that necessitated me actually performing the part I had practiced so much. It was an incredible rush to show the audience, my cast members, and the production team all of my hard work, and it felt extraordinarily gratifying to prove to myself that I was capable of so much more than I had previously thought.
How does it feel to be working at the Studio now, as opposed to being a student?
It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to pass along the knowledge I received from the Studio. As a kid, the Studio felt like my second home, so it’s very comforting to be back.
Most memorable Studio class/show experience?
It’s hard to say! Other than my heartfelt Into the Woods story, I have so many funny, sweet, and crazy memories from the Studio. A weird one is Rachel Gitter sitting too close to the radiator during North Pole Express and catching fire! Luckily, no one was hurt.
Any post-Studio advice for current students?
In the vein of my understudy experience, if I could pass along one takeaway from my time at the Studio, I would encourage students to always ask (respectfully) for what they want and feel they’re ready for. Now, as a director, I truly value performers who aren’t afraid to boldly put in the effort for personal growth. If you’re willing to work hard for whatever it is you want, the worst thing that can happen is they say no.