I have always had a passion for theatre and looked forward to the opportunity to spend a semester in such a hot spot for performance. During my semester in New York City in the Spring of 2016, I explored the spectacular culture of live theatre. I was also fortunate enough to take a course focused on the performance nature of the city both inside and outside formal theatre settings. Not only was I able to experience the performances through the social perspective of an audience member, but I was also able to deconstruct the performances through an academic lens from our coursework.
Thanks to the generous gift I received, I was able to attend a variety of theatrical performances ranging from extravagant shows on Broadway to smaller scale productions produced by Off Broadway theatre companies. Productions included The King and I, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, An American in Paris, Natural Life, Simon Stephens’ Harper Regan, and Aladdin. Altogether, I was satisfied with the variety of shows I was able to attend because each of these productions provided me with an individualized theatrical experience. Some of the shows were rich in choreography, others in lyrics, and many in book.
The Broadway productions I attended reaffirmed my amazement in the world of theatre. Seeing the ship in The King and I and the various Parisian settings recreated on the stage for An American in Paris demonstrated the phenomenon of theatre and the new world it can create on a stage. Just the same, the off Broadway performances I attended showed me how much can be done even with minimal resources available.
As a Performance and Communication Arts major with a focus in Theatre-Performance, I have participated in each of the department’s productions from main stage shows to dance concerts since my first year and have assisted in a variety of technical positions. Although I had a firm base of theatre experiences from my time at St. Lawrence thus far, I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to play the role of audience member opposed to technical crew. I was able to appreciate all the elements that contributed to bringing together the full production.
The assistance of the travel enrichment grant allowed me to see all of these productions within a span of four months, which would not have been feasible without the generous contribution I received. This opportunity has definitely been a highlight of my undergraduate career at St. Lawrence.