Their voices carry through the rafters and fill the empty seats that will soon be occupied by audience members. They dance across the stage and sing in thunderous tones, perform until their souls are infused with the character they are to portray, and invoke inspiration in anyone fortunate enough to watch the Vanguard Theatre Arts major’s in rehearsal.
A theatre major’s week is on a set schedule, but every day looks a little different. According to junior Andreas Schmidt, rehearsals are held from 6-10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 pm. This allows for little to no sleep with everything they are balancing.
According to Schmidt, his week begins like anyone else’s. He attends classes in the morning and continues throughout his day until 6 p.m. After 6 p.m. his role as a theatre major really begins, as Schmidt heads over to the theatre where he puts his dress shoes on and gets into character to begin rehearsal.
“Every night at rehearsal is different. We alternate each day which means that on Monday we run through an act of the play off-script and do blocking and everything that goes along with it. On other nights, we do vocal rehearsals where we sing through the songs, and we even have days where we go over choreography too. It really just depends on what Vanda Eggington wants us to do,” Schmidt said.
Eggington is the director of the upcoming production, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” Being very dedicated to her work has allowed for her to become a light of inspiration to many of the students in this program. Surprisingly, theatre was not always Eggington’s focus.
“When I was in college, the people in the music department were much nicer, so I was a music major, but I did theatre things on the side,” Eggington said. “This allowed me to become very involved in the musicality aspects of musicals as well.”
Eggington now carries her passion and love for this art form with her, and exemplifies that through her work with her students. As a theatre professor, Eggington feels she is also a mentor, there to coach students not only in school, but also through their life endeavors.
Throughout the student’s rehearsal, Eggington gives many stage directions to the students as they flock to the stage and get in position to start going through the first act of the play. She calls out to junior Eileen Leyva to make sure she is ready to begin. Leyva gives her two thumbs up as she gets ready to follow along with the script in case somebody yells out for their line.
Leyva is the assistant stage manager for the play, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” that the theatre department is currently working on producing. She is in charge of the costumes, set changes, and rehearsals, making her role vital when it comes to the production of a play.
“You are always busy. It’s a lot of late nights and early mornings, but it is well worth it considering you are always having fun, and hanging out with people that you have grown so close to,” Leyva said.
Heather Christensen, a junior in the department, thinks that “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” is going to be the best production yet. She manages her schedule by having all of her classes in the morning to make time for rehearsal in the evenings and at night all throughout the week.
“You usually stay up very late in order to get homework done and it can be a bit stressful at times when you have a lot on your plate like that, but it’s totally worth it since it’s something that I’m really passionate about,” Christensen said. “I don’t have a social life, but I am very social.”
Christensen was homeschooled in high school, and she did not grow up in theatre. She didn’t even think that she was going to come to college, but after deciding it was something she wanted to do, she chased after that dream and went for it.
“God sort of spoke it over me to go to college and become a theatre major, so that’s exactly what I did,” Christensen said.
Being a theatre major is so much more than just performing and putting on a good show, it is developing a bond with the people around you, it is about being serious in a silly situation to get a point across, and it is about being a visionary.
Being creative every day and using their bodies and minds for an art form that they love is something that is very amazing. They have grown very close to one another and started to uplift each other through their lives of being a theatre major. This group of people are so much more than just people who share the same major, they are people who have grown so close that they have become a family.