During her Junior year, Ioanna Ninos ’21 tried out for and appeared in a few Drama Labs as an activity she could check off her Andover bucket list. Little did she know that three years later, she would end up falling in love with acting and become a student producer for the Department of Theater and Dance.
According to Ninos, during her Lower Year, acting in Theatre-901, an interdisciplinary course exploring the intersection of writing and performance, was an important turning point for her theater career. Both the class and its performances inspired Ninos to take on a greater role in spreading the joy of theater.
“I think the experience of learning more about myself through theater, writing about my experiences and then putting those stories into a show and performing that for strangers [made Theatre-901] one of the best classes I have taken at Andover. From that point on, I realized that I really like this theater thing and I think I’m going to keep on going [with it],” said Ninos.
In her Upper year, Ninos continued her theater journey by directing the Theatre-901 show and another show titled “Love Letters to Ourselves,” which was supposed to be performed in Scotland this past summer. Ninos reflected on how her experience of returning to the Theatre-901 show as a director increased her passion for theater.
“It was a really great experience, and it definitely made me want to become a producer because I love theater at Andover, and I really wanted to try out some new, different ideas… Theater is something I love and I want to make that happen for more people and have more people fall in love with theater here,” said Ninos.
Niara Urquhart ’21, one of the four other student producers in the Theatre Department, described the core values Ninos aims to implement in rehearsals and shows. According to Urquhart, Ninos strives for rehearsals to revolve around community, positive energy, and inclusivity.
“Working with [Ninos], you’ll find that she brings a lot of creative energy and comes up with a lot of cool ideas. Since she’s also a Blue Key Head this year, she also brings a lot of school spirit and energy, so she really keeps us centered around community and ways to bring all different kinds of people in,” said Urquhart.
Emiliano Caceres ’22 expressed his excitement for Ninos’s upcoming Theatre-901 project. Referencing some of the shows the two performed together in, Caceres reflected how he has witnessed Ninos’s growth as a leader in the Theater Department.
“[Ninos has] just gone on to do bigger and bigger things every time, and I can’t wait to see what she does for her [Theatre-]901 class because she’s doing an independent project this year. She’s really talented, and it’s made me really happy to see her grow. She’s someone I look up to a lot,” said Caceres.
Throughout the term, Ninos is excited to organize more virtual Drama Labs and welcome newcomers to theater at Andover.
“[I hope to create] an online how-to guide to support these new actors and directors who aren’t in classes so they [can] really get that one-on-one support and teaching… I think the really cool thing about [virtual theater] is just the ability to redefine the art form… We just need to figure out other ways to replicate what we normally have on stages in person, online,” said Ninos.