Northwestern’s location is absolutely a “trifecta,” as we call it in our Admissions Information Sessions. (Campus. College Town. Big City.) From our campus’ incredible lake views, to Evanston’s quirky restaurant scene, to Chicago’s endless list of historical, cultural, artistic, and professional offerings, our location has something for everyone. It is difficult to pinpoint the time I most took advantage of this “trifecta,” but I know it has been integral to my college experience.
This summer I worked on a show downtown at the Goodman Theatre, one of Chicago’s first theatres and a recipient of the Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. I was lucky enough to assistant direct Feathers and Teeth, a new play written by Cuban-American playwright Charise Castro Smith and directed by my mentor and acting professor Henry Godinez. It was my first professional theatre gig in Chicago, and it was a completely out-of-body experience. I took the Purple Line Express to the Loop every morning for the eight weeks of the rehearsal process, and I had the opportunity to collaborate with the playwright, the professional actors, and the Goodman’s full-time staff. Despite the fact that I was still a student, I was treated like an equal with valuable artistic insight and felt that I had made a noticeable impact on the production. I was so excited to take a group of twenty-five sorority sisters to see the show on a Friday night in September. Even though my name was printed in what appeared to be the smallest font in the program (which my roommate still teases me about!), I was incredibly fulfilled and proud to share the show with my best friends.
Perhaps the coolest part of this whole experience was the fact that I was literally fulfilling a dream I articulated in my “Why Northwestern?” essay that I wrote as an applicant.
When I visited Northwestern as a high school junior, I went to the mainstage production with my dad. It was one of the most innovative and captivating shows I had ever seen, and I spent most of the play sitting on the edge of my seat and trying not to blink. I remember reading the program ravenously back at the hotel afterwards and learning about the director Henry Godinez. When it was time to apply to Northwestern, I wrote my entrance essay about how I hoped to study with Henry one day while also taking advantage of the artistic resources that Chicago offered. And I have now done exactly that!
photo source: Goodman Theatre.