A year ago, on revisit day, I nervously arrived on campus. My brother was a senior then, so he met us before class and wished me good luck on my visit. Having him at Exeter gave me some comfort. I could breathe deeply with some foreknowledge about where all the buildings were, which dorms were which, and key terms every Exonian has to learn. When I met my “Experience Exeter” buddy, with whom I would attend classes, I rejoiced in the fact that she was a stage manager in the mainstage production. After a day reveling in Harkness classes, it came time for Drama Sports, the physical activity portion of the Theatre program. After the cast and crew completed ten laps, they congregated by the theatre. I stood with them and felt as though I was already part of their community. We played an intense game of Ninja, and I felt like I could really become a part of the Exeter community.
That community has proved strong and supportive. My first term here, I acted in Blood Wedding, a Spanish drama adapted by members of the faculty. It was there I met some of my closest friends on campus. Our director gave us freedom during rehearsals to explore our characters and connect with the actors around us. One of the Spanish teachers sang the show’s lullaby in Spanish, which was mesmerizing and beautiful. The collaboration extended to our lighting designer Mr. Gendal who worked with the music department to create light and sound cues which added to the somber and intense mood. The second mainstage show this year was Into the Woods. This was a huge show to take on, but it was worth all the work. The set and costumes transported us to our faraway wood, where happily ever afters aren’t necessarily happy. With the orchestra behind us, our brilliant cast bonded both on stage and off while we sang and danced.
The other theatre community I am so happy to be apart of is DRAMAT. This is Exeter’s theatre club. It’s student run, directed, acted, and produced. Exonians submit scripts, original or not, and if the DRAMAT board select them, they cast and direct their show. I’ve performed in one of these shows, I am working on another, and will be helping to produce one in the spring. This has been the most rewarding theatre for me. Knowing everything that comes out of these shows has been created and nurtured by your friends and classmates gives the shows a personal and friendly touch.
For me, the tight theatre community is why I chose Exeter.