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Student Blog: How to Have a Hot Theater Kid Summer

What time is it? SUMMERTIME!

Student Blog: How to Have a Hot Theater Kid Summer
Photo from Ata Ebem via Pixels

The sky is blue, the sun is out, and theater classrooms around the country are empty, which can only mean one thing: it's summertime! Now that you've finally survived finals, written your last essay, and handed in your last test, you might be wondering - what the heck am I supposed to do now? After all, during the school year your average college theater major is doing a full day of class, rehearsals or a performance at night, and staying on top of their homework on top of that! Well, if you're wondering how to make use of your oh-so precious free time, keep reading for how to have a Hot Theater Kid Summer.

Expand your theatrical horizons

With all this free time you now have, it's only natural to dedicate it to your one true love. But this summer, consider using it to dip your toes into a new realm of the theater world! Do you consider yourself a straight play person? Listen to some musical theater! If you're struggling to find a place to begin, consider listening to some of the recent Tony nominees and winners: Six, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, and Wicked are good places to start. For a more classical vibe, you could look at pieces like The Sound of Music, South Pacific, and Oklahoma! And if you're looking for something right in the middle, Godspell, Into the Woods, and A Chorus Line might be more your style.

Likewise, if you're a musical theater person, read some straight plays! If you've mostly done contemporary work, get yourself a Complete Works of William Shakespeare and start reading! Having the Shakespeare canon all in one place will save your time and money looking through tens of Folger Editions when you need a monologue. (I must admit to owning way too many of these along with my Complete Works. The covers are just too pretty to resist!) Are you terrified of tackling the verse? Then start with a well-known play, like A Midsummer Night's Dream or Romeo and Juliet, and work your way from there. If you're feeling a little crazy like I am, an experienced Shakespeare reader might want to try and read the complete canon this summer. Will I achieve my goal? Maybe, maybe not, but I'll definitely have found a new appreciation for the Bard (and some new monologues)!

Look into non-theatrical subjects

An acting professor once told me that well-rounded actors are able to draw from a variety of disciplines, not just theater. After all, the very plays we read draw from the same subjects you would study in a history class, or an art class. So if you need a break from theater, you might want to study ancient mythology, for example. If you were raised on the novels of Rick Riordan like I was, pick up a copy of the Iliad or the Odyssey. Homer might sound scary, but there are many good translations floating around; for what it's worth, the version of these stories I have was translated by Samuel Butler. If you're a more visual person, go to a museum and learn about the art they have on display, or just walk around your town and see if there's any plaques to read.

You could also take a more active role in your creative horizons and start writing. You don't need to follow any particular style of writing; simply keeping a journal logging your day to day life is enough to keep your mind stimulated, and you might discover a new hobby or self-care habit. Personally, I began writing poetry over the winter holidays, and found it's a great way for me to keep up my creativity and to express however I'm feeling in a safe way. You don't need to share what you write, either. If you do, great! If you don't, also great! The important part is that you are doing something that enriches you, helps you.

Learn a life skill

Lastly, it's always a good idea to prepare yourself for living on your own, regardless of what career you go into. While it is definitely tempting to sustain yourself purely on Doordash, the importance of learning how to cook on your own is too much to not mention. Nobody's saying you need to become a Master Chef in three months, but learning your way around the kitchen is a great way to spend your summer. It's best to start at the very beginning- it's a very good place to start. Instead of microwaving your ramen, for example, pick up a package that needs to be cooked and learn how to operate an oven. If you're able to, help your parents with meal prep by chopping the vegetables or preparing a simple breakfast, like toast and fruit.



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From This Author - Student Blogger: George Concannon


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