Art & Culture
Get a New Perspective though Experiencing the Arts
I feel like there is a lot of creativity here in Lincoln. There’s First Fridays where people go to the Sheldon Art Gallery and other local downtown galleries. I personally like the museums and the jazz bars. There’s also a cabaret restaurant where the servers sing and there’s a lot of performances that come through the venues in Lincoln.
Students who aren't performance majors can still be really involved in the arts in Lincoln. A lot of the shows they can come see are relevant to what’s happening today. Right now, there's a show called Dutchmen and although it was written a long time ago, it’s relevant to our current society. I think people can learn a lot by coming to the shows or even auditioning for the shows. If anyone wanted to get into theatre they could audition.
There’s a lot of opportunities for people to support the arts, especially with the Nebraska Repertory Theatre here because there's so much knowledge that we can learn from the people coming from all over and working together here.
Why it All Matters
Live theatre, it tells a story, it makes you feel something in a way you can’t get from going to see a movie. You're more connected with the actors. When you're there, you can feel the energy in the room When you’re making a movie, you get to shoot many takes before arriving at what you see on the screen. Theatre is just life, in the moment. It's there, it's raw, and it's those raw feelings and emotions that the actors and students put on the stage that help tell the story of the characters.
Watching a performance can change a person’s perspective, no matter what their background is. People can learn a lot from it. What theatre does is hold up the mirror to people and make them realize what is happening, or what should be happening, and isn’t. It gets a conversation started. It's really subjective. Anybody can feel any type of way about theatre, which is the great thing about it.
It is easy to get caught up in our way of thinking. We need the arts to help open our mind to different ways of thinking, to another person’s perspective.
Performing in Lincoln
So far, I’ve done three performances with the Nebraska Repertory Theatre, the professional theatre within the university. Students majoring in performance theatre get opportunities to work with professionals who are in the business today. They have auditions here first for the students, then they have local auditions. Anyone in the community can audition. After that, they go to New York and hold auditions. That’s how they bring industry professionals in. I got to work with someone from the original cast of Wicked.
It’s refreshing to make those networking connections. We perform at the Johnny Carson Center for Performing Arts on campus, and sometimes we perform at the Howell stage, or in the Black Box Theatre.
I'm also in a group called DATA within the theatre program, which stands for Diversity Across the Arts. It was created by a group of us students within the theatre program to help students of color who come here find a place of community. It's a safe place for us to create art and create performances about what's going on in our society.
The piece we’re working on right now is about what America is to us, what it is be a person of color in America or a person of color in Lincoln. It’s a really cool piece and we're not only involving students of color within the theatre program; we've involved students of color throughout the entire campus. Anyone can contribute, whether they are in the theatre department or not. It is all about creating unity within the campus. We are incorporating public speakers, poets and dancers. You could have a person dancing and a group of people singing at once while there's a person giving speech. It’s very free-form and natural.