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Alumni Spotlights

Choose a Theatre and Dance Alumni below to find out more about their time at WCU, and what they are up to now!

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Ashley Robin Trujillo

  • Area of Study: Costume Design and Technology
  • Current City: Bethlehem, PA
  • Graduation Date: 2016
  • Current Occupation: Persuing an MFA in Costume Design and Technology at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM)

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I first started at WCU in the Music Education program and was in the program for a few years. One summer, I took a job at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, and ended up working in their costume shop. What was supposed to be "just a summer job" turned in to a new passion--one I had to explore. Once I got back to WCU, I volunteered in the costume shop and started taking costume classes. I was instantly drawn to the program because of its extremely dedicated faculty, supportive student population, and high production value. Once I started to experience the program, I never looked back.

How has the quality of education you received from WCU prepared you for life after graduation?  
At WCU when I was a student designer, assistant designer, and costume technician, I learned many valuable skills. I learned the numerous technical skills that go along with designing and making costumes, such as strong organizational skills and a variety of sewing techniques. But more importantly, I learned skills in collaboration, which is vital to doing any job in theatre, but especially in costumes. Also, because I had so many opportunities to work on actual productions, I learned very real and valuable problem-solving skills that are vital to any theatre practitioner. The hands-on nature of the program taught me so many skills that I still use as a professional today.

What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me generally has a few classes in costume technology (such as draping for historical men/women, tailoring, millinery, dye, etc.) as well as costume design and costume history classes. In between (and after) classes I will be leading fittings as a designer or working on costume pieces for a production as a milliner, crafts artisan or draper. I also do work hours in the costume shop as part of my graduate assistantship that involves alterations, building and cutting costumes, and sometimes draping or patterning for one of the many productions we put on at CCM. Graduate school involves balancing many different projects at once.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
Whether you are interested in either costume design or costume technology, try to learn as much as you can in both areas. Whether you are a designer and you know about costume construction, or if you are a technician and you know about interpreting design sketches and research images, knowing both sides of the coin helps the collaborative process for everybody. Also, for someone who does not know where to start, start by volunteering in the costume shop!

What advice would you like to give to graduating seniors?
Don't be afraid to take summer theatre jobs around the country! It's a great opportunity to travel, make new contacts, and learn new things from new people! And of course, never stop learning.

What makes our college stand out to you?
I think what makes WCU special is the amount of one-on-one mentoring you receive from your professors, and the hands-on production experience that really cannot be replaced with anything else. Also, the atmosphere in the school among students is inviting, supportive, and uplifting.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in our college?
My favorite memory of being a student at WCU was when I was the costume designer for Ibsen's Ghosts in my final year. I have so many fond memories of creating those costumes and putting together that production with an incredible production team. The sense of accomplishment I had - and the wonderful group of people who helped make it possible - made working on that show the best part of my college career.

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Brendan Flaherty

  • Area of Study: Theatre with technical concentration
  • Current City: New York City, NY
  • Graduation Date: 2010
  • Current Occupation: Stagehand IATSE Local 1, NBC primarily (freelance)

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I chose West Chester because it was the best option for me. I believe what you put into something is what you get out of it. West Chester provides a great outlet to grow as a student and a person. The smaller size of the program allows a lot more creative freedom and attention to detail that can be lost in a larger program.

How has the quality of education you received from WCU prepared you for life after graduation?  
The education I received at West Chester prepares me for life after graduation. Having experience working out of the classroom is a large help and the program also brings in artists that I ended up working for in the field after graduation.

What is a typical day like for you?
There is no typical day at SNL but what you can expect is about 50 or more hours of work in three days. I also work all the large events for NBC like the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Rockefeller Center Holiday Christmas Tree Lighting, Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, etc.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
In West Chester you will learn all you need to know to become successful in the field of technical theatre. You're education will always rely on what you are willing to learn. What you succeed and fail at now is what you will use to become successful when you leave. The golden rule is also always say yes to work....at first.

What advice would you like to give to graduating seniors?
I would say i's important to figure out where you will wind up when you leave. I got very wrapped up in projects my senior year but was fortunate enough to have an opportunity come my way when I graduated. Don't be afraid to ask around about what is available to you when you leave. Reach out to alumni and friends for ideas and assistance. We have all been there and would be more than willing to assist in any way we can.

What makes our college stand out to you?
West Chester simply felt like home to me. I still make the trip back when I can just to see professors that over time became friends of mine. it's a small community but it makes it a close knit community. There is a lot of pride in West Chester and it's successes.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in our college?
My favorite memories were always late nights in the shop working on Homecoming, 24 theatre fest and honestly any show we put up. When you and others are putting energy into something to make it work it's a powerful thing and it makes for lasting memories.

What's the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn't learn from your resume alone?
The skills I've learned in school have given me the confidence to start flipping a house. I've been able to do all the work myself. Also I haven't used a resume for work since my first few months out of West Chester.

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Donald Shorter Jr.

  • Area of Study: Dance
  • Current City: Houston, Texas
  • Graduation Date: 2002
  • Current Occupation: Assistant Professor of Dance at Sam Houston State University

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I came to WCU to become a respiratory therapist but ended up finding my passion for dance thanks to being under the direction of Gretchen Studlien-Webb. I earned a minor in dance 2002 (that was the only degree available at that time) along with B.S. in Liberal Studies.

How has the quality of education you received from WCU prepared you for life after graduation?  
Being at WCU as a dance minor and under Gretchen's direction allowed me to investigate the art of dance freely and safely. There were no limits put on my research. I was strongly encouraged to continue to make my own path as a choreographer and dancer.

What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me looks like teaching various levels of modern technique, dance history, composition, dance and technology, and queer performance studies. When I'm not in the classroom I'm advising students and sitting on committees at the university level that are dedicated to ensuring that diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of the institution's mission. I also have been continuing my research agenda of queer performance at the intersection of concert stages and digital media.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
The sky is the limit. Be open to the journey because there are several routes instead of one fixed destination. Continue to put in the hard work and dedication.

What advice would you like to give to graduating seniors?
Don't wait until the spring semester of your senior year to connect to the professional industry of your interest. Start applying for fellowships, internships, intensives, and workshops your first year. This way you'll have more experience and exposure to your field. This gives you the time to develop relationships with those who may hire you after you graduate. The more experience you have while you're in school, the better off you'll be when you've completed your degree.

What makes our college stand out to you?
I loved how it had a family vibe to it. I didn't have the access to the resources that the students who attend WCU have now. In many ways, it was a good thing because I cherished what I had and didn't take anything for granted. I would love to be a dance student at WCU now because of the amazing facilities that are provided to the department of dance. There are beautiful studios on North Campus (instead of one large one on south campus) along with several performance spaces. This provides students with the ability to understand their craft from various perspectives

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in our college?
The time spent preparing for dance concerts at the old Swope Hall and Emilie K Asplundh. I always felt like I didn't belong until I found dance. Gretchen introduced me to a new world and that never would've happened if I didn't attend WCU. Dance is the thing that saved my life.

What's the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn't learn from your resume alone?
I love rollercoasters and have the biggest sweet tooth

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Janice Rabian

  • Area of Study: Theatre
  • Current City: Dallas, Texas
  • Graduation Date: 2017
  • Current Occupation: Persuing an MFA in Stage Design (Costumes) at Southern Methodist University

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I was attracted to the inclusive and holistic attitude of the Theatre department at WCU.

How has the quality of education you received from WCU prepared you for life after graduation?  
The encouragement from the faculty and students to immerse myself in all aspects of theatre molded me into a curious and well rounded artist. These attributes have greatly contributed to my success upon graduating from the program.

What is a typical day like for you?
Oh, ya know. Crazy. A typical day involves getting up early to beat the city traffic and grab a cup of coffee before class. Most of my classes are morning classes and I am typically finished by noon. Then I might have a production meeting for an hour. After that meeting I spend time in the costume shop working on my duties as an Assistant Costume Designer for an upper classman (as all 1st year grad students do). Or I may spend some time working on my designs for my spring show, How I Learned to Drive. This past week I stayed on campus for the first rehearsal and read through of SMU's production of As You Like It. Home by 9 pm and time to start homework.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
At the core of our work, we are storytellers. Think about what stories you would like to share, what narrative you have that is unique to you, and how you can tell it to the world. Be passionate about something.

What advice would you like to give to graduating seniors?
Tenacity, hustle, and grit are your greatest assets after graduating. The first five years in the industry are reportedly the hardest, because there are so many young people competing for the same jobs and roles. Past those first five years, the people who are here to stay have stuck it out.

When you were a student at WCU, did you complete an internship and/or study abroad?
While I was a student at WCU I studied abroad with the Ombelico Mask Ensemble in Calabria, Italy. It was without a doubt one of the greatest summers of my life. I also worked as a wardrobe intern at Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, which was an incredible networking opportunity while in undergrad.

What makes our college stand out to you?
The individual attention, the commitment to the craft, and the opportunity for growth and exploration always stood out to me.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in our college?
One of my favorite memories of being a theatre student at WCU was performing in The Tempest, directed by Prof. Len Kelly. The entire process of the show, start to finish, was incredibly professional but also full of care and love for the storytelling craft. We all felt that we had built something quite special by the end. I'm still waiting for the remount.

What's the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn't learn from your resume alone?
I took my Cher impression off of my resume, does that count?

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Robyn Callahan

  • Area of Study: BA in Theatre Arts
  • Current City: Houston, Texas
  • Graduation Date: May 2001
  • Current Occupation: Managing Owner, Callahan Sports Broadcast Crewing
  • Company Website: Callahan Sports Broadcast Crewing

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
Growing up I always wanted to work in the Entertainment Business. I applied to West Chester with the hopes that I would be accepted into their Theatre program. It was a great day when I found out that I was and I took every advantage I could while I was a student there. Normally, first year students didn't start working on productions right way but I was different I wanted to be involved and I didn't care what I needed to do. My first assignment was sewing the costumes for the play The Miss Firecracker Contest.

What training or education did the Dept of Theatre and Dance provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
The Department tought me how to handle and deal with people both professionally and as a student. Our Technical Director at the time, James Murphy, approached me and asked if I wanted to be the Assistant Stage Manager to The House of Blue Leaves. I was honored that he would have thought of me. He mentioned to me that my attitude was the right temperament for the job. He was right because you need an even temperament to work in Entertainment and Sports Television. Working part time while going to College along with my studies was hard but going into the real world in real life situations took the cake. What I learned while a student in the Department of Theatre and Dance provided me with just the right attitude on how to deal with all the different personalities that I came across.

What is a typical day like for you?
My day is pretty simple as I work day to day but also months in advance. I need to make sure that everyone working has their call times, where they need park and who they need to see onsite… I then deal with our clients with any questions they may have. I telecommute so I am pretty much glued to my computer, cell and office line during the day. I normally do 85% of my work via email. It really has changed from when I first started in the business when it was all done by phone calls.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
Be tenacious don't think that just because you went on a job interview they will automatically hire you. If you want that job figure out a way to let them know how much you want the job without going too far. It's a delicate balance. Know the company you are working for or want to work for. If it's anything that I learned people love to talk about themselves and how they got started. Ask questions don't be shy. Entertainment/Sports Television is hard to break into but the right combination of your personality and what you put into landing that first job will get you noticed.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I loved working the High School Theatre Festival. It was a great way to bring in High School students and offer them advice on what to do next or how to approach certain areas of the craft. Overall, I throughly enjoyed my time at West Chester in the Department of Theatre and Dance.

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Daquinn Lloyd

  • Area of Study: Spanish BA, Dance and Linguistics Minor
  • Current City: Orlando, Florida
  • Graduation Date: Spring 2012
  • Current Occupation: Character Performer at Walt Disney World

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I chose Theatre and Dance because I was amazed by musical theatre and wanted to learn more. Then, I became more interested and concentrated in the world of dance.

What training or education did the Dept of Theatre and Dance provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
I was able to get an in-depth knowledge of the different types of dancing, both historically and physically. Currently, I can manipulate my body to any various of dance style.

What is a typical day like for you?
I typically do four to six shows a day at Disney's Animal Kingdom at the Festival of the Lion King show.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
The entertainment field is always subject to change. But it is you that is giving life to that performance so perform like it's the first time you are ever performing. Especially if it's your eighth performance of the day. Always give your best. Finally, dance for yourself. It feels so amazing!

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the Department of Theatre and Dance?
My favorite memory of being a student was the activities and daily life I had with my friends and professors. College was truly an amazing time and I wouldn't have changed anything. I've learned so much about myself and the world at WCU and I am thankful for everything it had to offer.

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Andy Truscott

  • Area of Study: BA in Theatre Arts, Concentration in Musical Theatre, Minor in Dance
  • Current City: West Chester, PA
  • Graduation Date: May 2009
  • Current Occupation: Associate Director of Marketing at The Grand Opera House/The Playhouse at Rodney Square
  • Company Website: The Grand Opera House / The Playhouse at Rodney Square

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I chose to attend WCU, and its BA program, because of the opportunity to learn every aspect of Theatre prior to entering the professional world. First, and foremost, I believe we all are theatre artists - meaning we should learn every aspect of our craft before refining specific skills for our career.

What training or education did the Dept of Theatre and Dance provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
The opportunity to serve as the Treasurer of University Theatre, under the guidance of the faculty, allowed me to receive a practical example of what it would be like to run a theatre company after graduation. These skills proved instrumental as I was interviewing for careers in theatre administration.

What is a typical day like for you?
I am responsible for all ticket sales, donations, sponsorship, graphic design, and public relations for the theatre. While promoting our five-show mainstage season, I regularly make contact with press agencies including Playbill, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. As a member of the executive staff at the theatre, I report to the Executive Director and Board of Directors, and play a large part in the artistic programming of the theatre.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
Be persistent and have thick skin. There are thousands of students entering the field every year. Make a lasting impression on your first meeting with a potential employer and ALWAYS send a thank you note following your interview. It sounds small, but this small gesture will go a long way in your possible successes.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the Department of Theatre and Dance?
As a student I was afforded the opportunity to participate in numerous leadership opportunities that enriched my learning at the institution. From my work with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS to the American College Theatre Festival, the faculty introduced me to organizations that would play major parts in my development as a theatre professional. On a funnier note, I was horrible at dialects, and anyone I graduated with would tell you that the performance days of Dialects was their favorite class to observe.

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Michael Hartman

  • Area of Study: BSED Elementary Education with a Minor Theatre Arts
  • Current City: West Chester, PA and Ocean City, NJ
  • Graduation Date: December 2002
  • Current Occupation: Artistic Director of the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
West Chester University’s strong reputation in the field of Education first captured my interest. Upon further research I really loved that I could study education and still pursue my passion for music, theatre and dance. After touring the University and visiting the Borough of West Chester it was clear that WCU was the perfect place for me to grow as an educator and performer.

What training or education did the Dept of Theatre and Dance provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
The Department of Theatre and Dance gave me a solid foundation in all aspects of theatre. Running a Theatre Company that auditions over 500 people each year and hires a technical team of about 15 people, I am so thankful that WCU provided well-rounded education experience. Most importantly I grew a stronger appreciation and respect for all the facets of theatre.

The WCU Dance Program gave a practical experience that offered me a chance to move outside of my comfort zone in a safe and positive environment. I quickly embraced the opportunity to surround myself with people who pushed me to study dance and focus on technique. The WCU Dance Program opened up doors as a student leader on campus to travel to Walt Disney World and network with alumni.

I also had a chance to network with alumni during my undergrad experience. These special networking moments granted me opportunities join the production teams for several special events including the Philadelphia 6 ABC Thanksgiving Day Parade and Miss America “Show Us Your Shoes” Parade.

Fortunately, I have also been able to combine my background as an educator and life in theatre. WCU really gave me the tools to create my career path as an educator and advocate for the arts. By studying Children’s Theatre, Children’s Literature and other education courses I was able to fine-tune my philosophy on arts education. Currently, I know work with schools to incorporate drama education into the curriculum and everyday aspects of the classroom. I have also had the opportunity to Direct/Choreograph over 40 school shows across the country. In my role as Artistic Director of the Greater Ocean City Theatre Company I have brought to life my vision of a well-rounded and affordable performing arts experience for students in K-12.

What is a typical day like for you?
There is nothing typical about my schedule. In the arts it is very rare you have a typical day and no two days are alike. During the height of my Summer Theatre Season my day usually includes 2 hours of theatre camp with students in K-8th grade, a 6-hour rehearsal with our non-equity professional cast and a 2-hour rehearsal with our youth company. In between I am checking email, connecting with production team members, meeting with sponsors/donors and interacting with community leaders and Board Members.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
Follow your passion! What makes you happy is what you need to do! You might have to get creative with how you make it a fulltime career but listen to your heart and simply figure out a way to make you goals and passion fulfilled.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I really am so grateful for the relationship I developed with my mentor, friend and second mom, Barbara J Lappano. Through her leadership as the Division of Dance Director I was able to form lifelong friendships, cultivate an appreciation of dance and experience a ton of laughs! She created a family among her students and in that family I was able to figure out who I really was and become more confident as a performer and person.

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Bob McCracken

  • Area of Study: Liberal Arts BA, Theatre Arts
  • Current City: Los Angeles
  • Graduation Date: 1972
  • Current Occupation: Actor freelance most recently playing Brendan Roarke on Sons of Anarchy. I have also Directed Network Television shows. My acting resume for Television and Movies includes more than 50 titles. I have also done regional theatre.

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I selected West Chester for a number of reasons. My Father was a career military man so I graduated from a high school in Puerto Rico where he was stationed at the time. Our stateside residency was Pennsylvania so I could go to West Chester as a state resident. In 1968 my first year I believe the tuition for one semester was an absurdly cheap $650 dollars. The Viet Nam war was in full bloom so if you didn't go to college you got drafted. So there were incentives to go and stay in school. My Grandparents lived in Upper Darby so I also had family near by.

What training or education did the Dept of Theatre and Dance provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
I was very happy with the size of the Theatre Dept. I think there were only about a dozen Theatre Majors in the dept. and we studied everything. I was a paid shop assistant so I learned a great deal about the technical side of theatre, which came in handy when I started my own theatre company after graduation. Because the dept. was small I got to be in almost all the productions for 4 years that's a lot of stage time. I don't think in the larger Conservatory programs you would be on stage nearly as much and I believe that's where you learn the most. I've used so much of what I learned throughout my career.

What is a typical day like for you?
My typical day has changed so much as I've gotten more well known and older. Now I devote the mornings to staying in shape I hike in the hills near my home for 3 miles every morning than I swim at The Rose Bowl Aquatic center after the hike. In the last episode of The Sons of Anarchy I was shot in the head and had to do that fall at least 20 times so staying fit at the age of 64 is very important. My auditions are usually scheduled for the afternoon and I typically get the audition material the day before so I spend a lot of time studying lines for the next day and brushing up material for that afternoon. I have an agent and a manager so I communicate with them throughout the day. If my audition schedule is light I work on audition material for possible future theatre auditions. I generally have 4 to 6 monologues I keep current and work on new material as I age out of the old monologues.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
While you're in school get to know the Theatre community in Philadelphia. There are so many good theatres in town. During your breaks from school volunteer in those theatres and work alongside professionals. Always be doing something to move forward. Learn to sing, play an instrument keep a journal. Get to know as many people as possible who are doing what you want to do and find out how they got there. Go to theatre often.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the Department of Theatre and Dance?
My favorite memory of WCU is how close we all were in the Theatre Dept. the community we had was as close to home as you could get in a school setting. Building sets, hanging lights, rehearsing all reinforced the reasons I wanted to be a Theatre Artist. It's a very untraditional and difficult life but I'm very happy I stuck it out I gave up a lot but what I got in return are memories no amount of money can buy.

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Michael Thatcher

  • Area of Study: BA Music: Elective Studies in Theatre
  • Current City: New York, NY
  • Graduation Date: 2012
  • Current Occupation: Actor, The Public Theater (most recent)
  • Company Website: www.michaelcthatcher.com

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I came to WCU to get a degree in Music Education. I’ve always had a deep love for acting and theatre, but I took a practical approach to my future wanting a degree that had job security. In my junior year, however, while observing an elementary school music class, I realized I was making a mistake. I couldn’t see myself being a music teacher for next thirty years of my life. And I mean no disrespect to music teachers. My most influential teachers throughout grade/high school were music teachers. I just realized that I was meant to be on stage. While my final degree is in Music, I truly found a home in the Department of Theatre and Dance.

What training or education did the Dept of Theatre and Dance provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
Around the time I realized I didn’t want to be a music teacher, Bob Bytnar (former chair of the department of Theatre and Dance) called me into his office. He encouraged me to fully commit to my acting, and suggested I continue my training by getting a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting. Together, we switched my major from Music Education to Music: Elective Studies in Theatre. The normal “Elective Studies in Theatre” requirements span over all aspects of theatre (acting, stage craft, lighting, etc.). Bob, Leonard Kelly, Liz Staruch, and Emily Rogge allowed me to solely focus on Acting, creating a specialized degree that focused on acting and directing. WCUT prepared me to excel in graduate school, and I now have an MFA in Acting from the University of Houston’s Professional Actor Training Program.

What is a typical day like for you?
There is no typical day for me – it’s always changing. That’s the beauty of a career in the arts. Last week I was in rehearsals for my next show during the day (THE TIME MACHINE with the New York Musical Festival), and performing at night in The Public Theater’s production of JULIUS CAESAR. This week my time is split between auditions/submitting for auditions in the morning, rehearsals in the afternoon, and coaching acting students in the evening.

Michael Thatcher in Assassins at WCU

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
Never stop expanding your knowledge. Whether it’s Broadway or your friend’s one-man/woman show, go see as much theatre as possible (and always support your friends that are making art). Take a class. Read a new play every week. After graduating from WCU, apply for internships with professional theatres. MAKE CONNECTIONS. Lastly, NEVER burn a bridge. The longer you stay in theatre, the smaller and smaller the theatre world becomes. Your talent will only get you so far – your reputation will get you farther (who you know, and who knows you).

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the Department of Theatre and Dance?
It’s hard to choose just one! Playing John Wilkes Booth in ASSASSINS is one of my favorite theatrical experiences. Everyone was so dedicated and passionate about that show, and the cast was so talented. Acting with Eric Scotolati in the final scene between Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald is still my favorite 10 minutes on stage.

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Bridget Cook

  • Area of Study: Theatre Arts, Concentrating in Technical Theatre
  • Current City: Conshohocken, PA
  • Graduation Date: May 2004
  • Current Occupation: Company Manager, Philadelphia Theatre Company

Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I wanted to be close to Philadelphia, a town so rich in professional theatre, but still have the "normal" college life. I wasn't interested in living in the city for school so West Chester was the perfect choice. There was a real sense of community at WCU that was so appealing.

What training or education did the Dept of Theatre and Dance provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
Everything!!! My area of focus when I arrived at WCU was so small, I wanted to be a stage manager and that is all I really knew. WCU really forced me to explore all areas of theatre from acting, dance, costume, lighting, etc. Everything I learned, I use on a daily basis. The art of theatre is such a collaboration and being able to speak about so many aspects of theatre makes you an invaluable member of the team and I am so thankful for all the things WCU taught me.

What is a typical day like for you?
On a typical day, I go to the office and work a "normal" day with weekends off except when we are in production. I can go from working a normal 40 hour week to going weeks without a day off and clocking 80 hours a week. I spend a lot of time in meetings and going back and forth between our offices and the theatre.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
Immerse yourself in every aspect of theatre. Learn as much as you can about all the different areas and positions. It will not only make you knowledgeable when speaking with your colleagues, but it will make you appreciate the hard work that every person in the business puts into their art. A position in arts administration works with every single department running a theatre company and the more you know, the better off you will be. But more than anything, the most important is to be a good person. Your reputation follows you everywhere in this business and your attitude is key.

What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I don't think I can pick a specific memory as there are too many to mention, but I think the thing that I cherish the most about WCU is the people I met. West Chester brought together some of the most wonderful friends I could have ever imagined having. Being a part of WCU theatre is being a part of a family. It has been almost ten years since graduation and some of my best friends and colleagues are the people I met at West Chester.

 

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