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Collegiate Theatrics: Vanderbilt's SADIE ANDROS

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Despite record-breaking snow and ice, life on Nashville campuses continue apace as spring semester 2016 barrels along its way - particularly for theater students on our homegrown campuses who have shows to rehearse, lines to learn and all those mundane "other" classes to attend. No one ever said life was easy for the student actor and, clearly, good theater waits for no woman or man.

Vanderbilt University's Sadie Andros, one of the region's busiest and most acclaimed young actors - she was Psyche and Aphrodite in last fall's production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses and takes on the role of Olivia in this spring's Vanderbilt Players' production of Twelfth Night - is among those students juggling schedules while dazzling audiences with her onstage antics.

And, lucky for readers, she found time to answer our questions as part of our latest installment of Collegiate Theatrics. Here's your opportunity to get to know her so that when you see her onstage next you'll feel like old friends already. Read on...

So, how's your college theater career going? Has it lived up to its advance hype? I come from a small commuter town in Connecticut with a public high school where performing arts are integral to the community. Growing up just a short train ride from New York City meant that my fellow classmates and I had access to every kind of performance we could dream of. When I first came to Vanderbilt University in 2012, theatre at college was a complete 180 from my experience in high school. Vandy is, first and foremost, an SEC school, which means that over the last three years I have rehearsed in nearly every random corner of empty space one can find around campus. Resultantly, performing arts at Vanderbilt is a far more intimate experience, and as a result, my understanding of theatre, and frankly my capabilities as well, have grown infinitely since my freshman year. Honestly, my college theatre experience has exceeded all of my expectations.

What's your favorite part of studying at Vanderbilt? People have always told me that one doesn't truly appreciate something until it is gone. When I went abroad to study theatre, I discovered what it was that made the theatre department at Vanderbilt truly wonderful: the people. As an interdisciplinary student, I've had chances to take classes all over campus, but the Neely Auditorium (the heart of the theatre department) has become my true home on campus. In fact, by now I'm sure I've spent more time in our theater than in any other building on campus--dormitories included. My favorite part of studying here is, without a doubt, the outstanding professors and theatre artists that I've been granted the opportunity to learn from; Leah Lowe, Terryl Hallquist, Jon Hallquist, Christin Essin, Matt Stratton, Phillip Franck, Alex Sargent, and Sean Martin have not only influenced how I act on stage and how I understand theatrical performance, but have all also taught me a great deal about living life in general.

Sadie Andros in Metamorphoses

Have your future plans changed since your college experiences? I began my education at Vanderbilt thinking that I would ultimately graduate and head to law school. My relationship with the theatre community on campus has since led me to question what it is I want to make out of my future. Currently, I am not so certain about where the next few years of my life will take me, but I do know that I cannot imagine my world without theatre. My time at Vanderbilt has taught me about the power of art and its value. I know that whatever my next steps might be, I will always be the advocate calling for more performances - more creative thought - in a culture that so heavily values scientific thinking.

What collegiate theatrical moment looms largest in your mind? During the spring of my sophomore year I did something a little ambitious: I applied to a summer program at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Remarkably, I was admitted, and my summer semester in London passed by in a whirlwind--a blissful season of watching and living theatre. This course is the first time that I remember completely committing myself to an ensemble, and it was the first time I spent ten-hour days rehearsing for a play. Ultimately, it was physically and emotionally exhausting. I don't think I will ever forget standing on stage as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing after four weeks of intensive rehearsal, surrounded on all sides by talented and aspiring young actors from every corner of the globe. I am so thankful for that opportunity, and I will always remember the summer of 2014 as the summer I fell in love with Shakespeare.

What advice would you offer to high school students considering making the plunge? Trust yourself. Believe in yourself. Be brave. These are the sort of mantras I have heard a million times from my coaches and professors, all of which I wrote off for years. However, I have now come to believe in them whole-heartedly. If theatre is something you cannot imagine your life without, then you shouldn't be afraid to take a chance on yourself. The world of theatre is all about chances, and if you don't take a chance on yourself, then how can you expect anyone else to take a chance on you? My advice to anyone in high school--or anyone ever--who loves theatre will always be this: take a chance, and if it doesn't work out how you wanted, take another.

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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis