University Players Talk Theatre

Read more from former University Players.

The production of "Our Town"
The production of "Our Town"

“The theatre community at Scranton made it very clear that every role that needed to be filled, be it in the wings, on the catwalk, in the shop, or on stage, was just as important as any other. There is no place for ego, and respect for everyone is an absolute requirement." -Shannon Munley, DPT ’07, G’08 

"Just a few months ago, I was walking into the stage door at Miss Saigon for work, and a fellow Players Alum was waiting to meet one of the actors. He was a few years ahead of me in college, and I looked up to him. (I was so proud that I got to see him act in an off-Broadway play soon after we graduated.) The moment that I saw him standing at the stage door, I felt the pride of how far I have come from the college freshman running the spotlight for him while he was the lead in the fall musical. My time in the McDade was priceless, and I still keep in touch with some other Players alumni.

"During one of the performances, the light board operator, Sean Schofield, hit the computer button for the next lighting cue to change, and EVERYTHING started blinking... all of the lights! Sean was panicking, and Rich Larsen was then giving us instructions over the headset of how to reset the computer and get everything to stop blinking. From there, we had to just turn on each light individually for the rest of that Act, until we could fix things at intermission. I can still hear Sean saying, “Why are they all blinking?” in horror. But this taught me that no matter how well you prepare, there is always the possibility that something will go wrong, and the show must go on. You find a way to fix things and keep going. This can be applied not just to my role of caring for injured performers, but to life in general." -Aileen M. Roginski ’02, G’ 03, DPT 07

"I was always impressed with the level of professionalism of the professors and staff in the department. That circles back to when you’re given good people and good resources some amazing stuff can happen. We had phenomenal talent working with us, from scenic designers with Broadway credits to professional actors. That level of professionalism is really what struck me." -Dale Baumann '04 

"Had I not gone to Scranton, I probably would have resigned myself to doing something that I didn't have a passion for. My experiences with the Players taught me that there is much more involved in growing and succeeding as a person than getting good grades (which I did, but still). -Anthony Mercado '09

"Our family and friends all know his love of the theatre and his involvement at Scranton. When the idea was raised to create a legacy in Mike’s memory, we all thought a theater scholarship was a great idea. Realizing that most scholarships are need-based or have high academic requirements, this one is restricted to theater program students who are academically in good standing and who are deeply involved and very inclusive to all. Some years there were no awards, some years had two recipients. We have met and gotten to know all the recipients over the last 19 years and all selected by the theatre program administration have wonderful. ...With Mike’s passing, the theatre program and the University has made us feel like part of the Scranton family." -Walter and Christine Bagdzinski, parents of Michael, who passed away when he was at Scranton

"I primarily work with children and adolescents and, in this specialization, being able to not take oneself too seriously is necessary. Scranton theatre provided me with the tools to better express myself, laugh at myself when necessary, and connect with clients on a more human level. Having had almost all production roles while involved with theatre at Scranton, I believe, also allowed me to establish a second specialty in program evaluation and development; being able to enter systems and quickly and creatively develop programs to better suit them has been invaluable. I THINK more creatively and that's a skill I don't think is accentuated in traditional academia - a skill that definitely sets me apart." -Sherly Daeceus ’09, a recipient of the Bagdzinski scholarship

"I made the choice to stay at Scranton in December of my junior year, after having spent a semester at Scranton following evacuation from New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in the fall of 2005.  Originally, the plan was to stay at Scranton for one semester, then go back to school at Loyola New Orleans, where I had already completed two years.  I made the decision to stay at Scranton because in one semester I was being challenged academically, and in the theatre department, far more than I had at Loyola.  Making the decision to stay at Scranton quite literally changed my life path, and led directly to where I am now."  -Jessica Lucas '07

"Being involved in the Players allowed me to work in a professional setting while being challenged academically and creatively. It turned me into a confident person. We learned so many skill sets, from performing to stage management, to design and playwriting. I feel an immense amount of pride in the amount of knowledge and skill I accumulated in that program. I feel that I used to be slightly embarrassed to identify as an artist. But after completing the theatre major at The University of Scranton, I felt excited to say what I studied, where I studied and what I was planning to pursue." -Kiley Lotz '13  

Read more from these alumni in the original article, here.

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