As a Theatre Arts major, I can’t make many promises. I can’t promise that, come graduation, I won’t be wandering the streets begging for a slice of bread, “Les Miserables”-style. But here’s what I can guarantee: As an involved member of Clark’s theatrical community, I’m meeting the people I should and getting connections I’ll need.
Yes, I created a LinkedIn account, but the truth is, I barely use it (that will be my winter-break project). That said, and despite the stereotype of the “starving artist,” I see my undergrad experience as full of new faces and future opportunities. Why? Because Clark’s Theatre program provides students with a range of opportunities.
Since I loved Playwriting I with Professor Gino DiIorio, Theatre program director, I advanced to Playwriting II and wrote “The Beef Stick Boys,” a show that premiered at the 2015 New Play Festival. I also wrote a 10-minute play, “Moon Juice,” which made it to the finals of Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s August competition.
While I’m a playwright, I’m not limited to just playwriting. I’ve produced shows, for example, as the publicity chair and events chair for the Clark University Players’ Society. Also, I’ve acted and worked behind the scenes in a few productions. I’ve taken acting classes, such as Shakespeare in Action, with Professor Stephen Thorne, and next semester, I’ll appear onstage in his production of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV, Part I.” But at the moment, I’m rewriting and editing my second full-length play. It’s the real-world theatrical experience playwriting and these other eclectic roles provide that, hopefully, will make me more desirable to a professional theatre company.
As a Theatre major, I took a set of required core courses that provided a framework. After those classes (which are open to anyone regardless of major), I chose my path, and expanded into my preferred territories of playwriting, acting and producing. So, really, what you do with your degree is up to you — take all the required core classes, but then pick your track.
Theatre majors and minors, theatre-lovers and theatre-goers are some of the most passionate people at Clark. We’re here because we want to be here, and we will dance, sing, or write our hearts out because, to borrow from the popular musical “Hamilton,” “I am not throwing away my shot,” at finding passion.
When she isn’t onstage or behind the scenes, Raechel Segal ’17 writes for Clark Diaries, a Tumblr blog snapshot of campus life, for Clark’s Undergraduate Admissions office. Look for her posts there and periodically on ClarkNow.