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BWW Blog: A Love For Theater Lives On In College

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BWW Blog: A Love For Theater Lives On In College

Since fifth grade when I performed in my middle school's production of High School Musical Junior, theater has played a major role in my life. Always being a musically inclined person led to me being involved in musicals throughout my middle and high school years, even playing bigger roles throughout the years along with actively singing in choir. Theater quickly earned a place in my heart that still remains true to this day.

From Peter Pan in sixth grade to The Addams Family and The Drowsy Chaperone in high school, musical season became my favorite time of year. Being up on the stage, singing and acting in my designated role gave me happiness nothing else could even compare to. Theater had become such a drastic part of my life, even off the stage as I listened to the soundtracks to my favorite Broadway shows, talked to my friends animatedly about news in the performing world and openly expressed my love for performing.

When it was time to make a decision about where I would be attending college, I knew my future school had to have a strong performing arts program. Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania was not only the perfect school for me in terms of my education but also had the kind of arts program that had always been present in my schooling years. With four full blown theater and musical theater productions every year, a large instrumental component including marching band, civic band, and individual lessons, two choral groups, a ballet center, dance classes in various styles and so much more, I knew that there wouldn't be a lack of performing arts in my college years.

Although I'm not a theater or musical theater major at Wilkes, I was able to actively participate and sing in the choir my first semester and my experience and time performing in musicals is carried on through my work study job at The Department of Performing Arts. Ironically, I stumbled across this opportunity one day after choir and taking the position with the department has been one of the best decisions I've made so far in college. Working closely with my supervisors and the theater/musical theater students, I am able to still be involved with something that has always been near to my heart.

My job description is very diverse, but that's only because my role is active in every aspect of the performing arts program on campus. Whether it's helping sell tickets to shows in the box office, steaming costumes, organizing for auditions of all kinds, watching the completed productions or concerts and being present for most events, I'm deeply invested in my performing arts program on campus without actually performing anymore although I'd love to.

Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my sophomore year of college was cut short on campus and the performing arts department experienced a large impact. Having to face the cancellation of their upcoming spring show The Tragedy of Julius Caesar and annual dance recitals along with making the difficult transition to online classes that work best in person, students experienced something no one else ever has. My time at work was also lost with great disappointment that the rest of the year wasn't unfolding according to plan.

However, the department persisted and I have never been so grateful to be part of such an amazing group of people. Indirectly being involved with performance of all kinds, from instrumental to theatrical, has only added to my overall college experience and I am looking forward to next year with hope that my love for theater and music will be able to continue during the "new normal" we are entering.

Wilkes University hasn't only just become my second home while giving me a great education in my future field, but the opportunity to continue staying involved with the arts that have changed my life is beyond amazing. As changes often occur, Wilkes' performing arts program remains strong and the students, including myself, are excited to get back into the swing of things in the upcoming fall semester.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Breanna Ebisch