Kate Howard (18C) shares her thoughts on her experience serving as the Communications Assistant for Brave New Works 2016
This semester I was fortunate enough to complete my Theater Practicum class a bit differently than what my peers might consider the typical route for the course, and I am so grateful that I did. Theater Practicum (otherwise known as THEA 200R) is a required course for all Theater Studies majors and minors.
According to the class description students are to “undertake a substantial technical theater responsibility in a Theater Emory production”. My substantial responsibility was to serve as the Communications Assistant for this year’s Brave New Works program under the guidance and instruction of my two wonderful mentors, Emma Yarborough, the Programming Coordinator/ Company Manager of Theater Emory , and Lisa Paulsen, the Director of the Playwriting Center of Theater Emory! As the Communications Assistant, my responsibilities included photographing and sitting in on the rehearsals and performances of many of the Brave New Works, hospitality set-up and support for visiting artists, working towards updating the Playwriting Center/Brave New Works representation on the website, and documenting workshops and readings through blog posts among various other small projects. Through these responsibilities I gained new experiences learning how to work a DSLR camera to take pictures in rehearsal, navigating the back end of a website to add content, as well as understanding what goes into setting up an event so that it will run smoothly( from making sure everyone has a place to park there car to ordering and setting up the food for the after celebration).
In addition to the work that took place outside of the rehearsal room, I especially enjoyed all the time I spent inside the rehearsal and performance spaces. It was fascinating to see the collaboration between the directors, playwrights, and actors as the rehearsals got off the ground and everyone got really absorbed and involved in the process. I watched one director get everyone up on their feet and worked through the script using a lot of movement.
Another director was excited to talk through with the cast about their characters and used a lot of verbal idea processing to navigate the new work. As I went into another rehearsal, I watched a playwright add music to her piece and give it to the actors to listen to and use as they took on their characters. Hearing the questions that all of the artists asked, watching them think through the material, adding new lines to the script, or simply watching the piece progress as the cast worked through the new work was an experience I will never forget.Seeing my friends, my teachers, and professionals whom I have collaborated with in the past or brand new faces work together was a true joy and I am extremely proud to have so many wonderful role models! Though I may not have taken the typical Theater Practicum route, I would not change it one bit.