Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Portrait of an Artist as a Theatre Minor (or, Five Questions for Alyssa Lardi)

We wanted to get to know more about our Theatre Minors, so we have started to ask them each five questions… The first Theatre Minor we asked is Alyssa Lardi and here’s what she told us.

What do you love about theatre?
I love how theatre can be so different yet similar. When I tell people I'm a theatre minor, sometimes they'll respond with "Oh plays are so boring" or "God I can't stand musicals," but there are so many different kinds and levels of theatre that it's impossible to not find SOMETHING you can enjoy. Theatre allows you to go anywhere and be anyone- a stressed and overwhelmed student director one week (first photo--I am on the right, attempting to troubleshoot blocking issues), a secret agent the next, and an Elf a month later (in the second photo, I am in the bottom right in pink wig and green jacket--I'll never get to dress this fashionably again). It's also a craft that employs all kinds of people with all kinds of interests, and everyone can feel that their work is important and they belong. Whether it's people working on Broadway, community theatre, improv groups, school plays, musicals, Shakespeare, introductory classes- there's always a bond among those who appreciate theatre and you can always find something you have in common.
What's one show you would love to be a part of one day?
I've been in love with the musical Spring Awakening since my freshman year of high school, and have seen it six times during three different productions. It's amazing to me how you go from all the issues the young characters face- suicide, child abuse, acceptance, religion, abortion- to a song named "Totally Fucked" which is literally a carefree rocking out party on stage. The music is beautiful and the show itself is quite eye-opening, so it's definitely a dream production for me.

What inspired you to become a Theatre Minor?

I've been involved with theatre for my entire life, and freshman fall semester was the first time since about 4th grade that I wasn't involved with a production. I knew I wasn't going to just stop being involved and had friends who were majors, so I decided to look into the minor. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to stay active and really start learning about all of the aspects of theatre. I like the structure of the minor because it's not too overwhelming for a person with a time-consuming major, but still allows me to branch out into new disciplines and take courses I'm interested in. 

What is your major?
My major is American Sign Language/English Interpreting, which means facilitating communication between hearing people who use spoken English and Deaf/Hard of Hearing people who use ASL. If you've ever seen a person signing during an important press conference or interpreting for famous Deaf people like Marlee Matlin or Nyle DiMarco, those are a few settings interpreters can work in. I took ASL in high school and came to Bloomsburg specifically for the interpreting program, because I am absolutely in love with the language, the communities, and the profession (even though it's a LOT of work and extremely difficult). Adding a theatre minor was also a practical career choice, as theatrical interpreting is a field I may wish to pursue and background knowledge of what happens both on stage and behind the scenes will be extremely beneficial.

If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be?
I won't lie, I thought the most about this question. After a lot of personal debate and soul searching, I think would be an Apple, because they're honestly the most superior fruit. They go with caramel, peanut butter, chocolate, and in pies or other amazing desserts. Also, I'd get to be in a ton of Instagram and Facebook posts in fall when all of us New Yorkers visit orchards and spend the day apple picking.