Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Nancy E. Hills
I realize, with some trepidation, that I have been doing theatre for most of my life. I have struggled, been successful, lost sleep, cried, given up, left and yet I always find my way back. I have a love/hate relationship with the theatre. But at the end of the day I have never felt more connection, love, compassion, fulfillment, and satisfaction from any other endeavor than I do from creating theatre. I truly believe that theatre is the embodiment of the human condition. It isn’t just an art form, it is the art form. It is all the art forms coming together to create something bigger than themselves. There is poetry, music, sculpture, architecture, painting, science, mathematics, religion, politics, and dance, just to scratch the surface. At its heart theatre is storytelling. It is the story of what it means to be human, told in an infinite number of ways. I also like football. Yet I am constantly astounded that the theatre is treated like the redheaded stepchild of not only our collected community but of the arts community. It seems football, music, science, you name it, are more heavily funded and supported than theatre, both in academia as well as professionally. I have come to realize that anybody who receives a degree in theatre is more connected to the world, collaborates more successfully with others, appreciates our differences, and strives for something greater than in any other field of study. As a lighting designer I have to know art and physics, as an actor I have to know language and psychology, and as a theatre artist I have to strive to know what makes us human. To be good at theatre you have to know and appreciate a little bit of everything, everything that makes us … us. Maybe because at its heart theatre is the study of us, it’s not specific enough to garner the attention or support that a seemingly more specialized field does. I don’t know. I may never make a million dollars doing theatre, but at the end of the day I hope that what I’ve accomplished has touched, connected, and inspired someone the way the theatre has always done for me. I cannot imagine a challenging yet more fulfilling life. End scene.
Piechocki, Steven Richard, "Design Through Discovery: Selected Projects in Lighting, Projection, and Scenic Design" (2016). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports, Spring 1920 to Spring 2023. 811.
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