During my very first week here at the University of Findlay, freshmen had the opportunity to attend a session where representatives from more than 100 clubs and student organizations and representatives from the different majors were present. At this session, I had the chance to meet theatre faculty members, Meriah Sage and Carl Walling. At first glance, they both gave me this feeling of acceptance that I couldn’t ignore. So I went to them and started talking about my passion for acting, how from a very early age I loved storytelling and tried this in different forms, from acting in advertisements and music videos to documentaries and television series. They were so patient in hearing my stories. They shared that at UF you can work in different parts of theatre. Do you like working backstage on lighting, sets, costumes or maybe audio? There is a space for you, and you’ll get hands-on training from professionals. Do you love to be on stage, acting, singing or dancing? There is a space for you. The most amazing thing is you don’t need to be a theatre major to become part of our productions. All you need is a passion for this beautiful form of art, and a willingness to work hard.
After talking to them I was sure that I wanted to audition for a production. The very first production of this academic year was “The Revolutionists.” Those who saw it and who know my face know that I was not one of those beautiful, bold four girls. I did audition for it, but was not selected. Instead, I worked backstage with some other great crew members. The night of my audition for “The Revolutionists,” Guest Director Margaret Anich came to me and said, “Even if you don’t get selected for this, you should definitely audition for ‘Antigone.’” This surely gave me a lot of courage.
I had to audition for “Antigone,” and I gave it my best effort. I waited patiently for the cast list to be posted. I won’t deny that I was anxious as I waited for the results. When I am anxious, I eat more, so I was at Henderson Dining Hall eating cookie after cookie and suddenly one of our theatre scholarship students came to me and said “Hey! Congratulations on getting your part in ‘Antigone.’” I asked him which part he was talking about, and he said, “Antigone.” I ran from the dining hall to Powell-Grimm Theatre and saw my name on the wall with many other beautiful people. I cannot express in words the joy I had that moment.
We have been practicing for a month now. Our director of the play, Meriah Sage, is one of the most amazing, talented and supportive professors I have ever seen. She’s taught me so much within this span of one month. Learning lines in a language that’s not my own has been a challenge, but I’ve had great support. As a cast, we have worked every day to build up a family where we can trust one another, where we can rely on one another and help each other to get back on our feet when we fall down on our knees. Our stage managers, crew team and cast have worked so hard, and I have faith that as the curtain opens, this hard work will pay off.
On a side note, as a result of this experience, I have now also decided to take theatre as a minor due to the absolutely amazing teachers we have and because of the individual attention students receive from the faculty.
Now about “Antigone”: this 3,000-year-old tale has been told by different races in different parts of the world, and is the oldest existing Greek drama. And, as our promotional materials say, “Antigone” is a searing tale of love, power, family and fate – the enduring tale of making heroic choices in the face of impossible odds.
Tonight is the opening night for “Antigone.” I urge all of you to come and watch this. Let us show you this wonderful story of love, fearlessness and above all, how humanity rocks.