Five new theater producers were selected for the 2021-2022 school year this spring. Producers meet weekly and are in charge of many aspects of the Department of Theater and Dance including organizing events such as Grasshopper and Drama Labs, producing theater shows, and leading the other students participating in Andover theater. The new producers, Kate Horton ’22, Emiliano Caceres Manzano ’22, Aleisha Roberts ’22, Case Rosenfelt ’22, and Melanie Garcia ’22, share their thoughts on their experiences in the Theater Department and their hopes for the future.
The producers approached me and they were like, ‘Hey, would you be interested in Drama Labs or just like theater at Andover?’ And at first, the answer was, ‘No, I have never done this before, why would I be interested in theater?’ But then they sort of roped me in. The Theatre Department, or at least the students involved in the Theatre Department, [has] since become some of my best friends. And after reflecting on the impact that those producers had on my life, I sort of want to have that same impact on somebody else’s life.
In general, I think we, [producers,] want to re-establish our presence on campus, the student-led side of the Theatre Department. And more than anything, I think the main goal of Drama Labs as a whole, and a lot of the student-led Theatre Department is just to be a platform for performers both old and new, [and for] novice and very experienced performers to come in and learn, and meet new people, like-minded people.
Emiliano Caceres Manzano
The producers, in particular, [are in] a really unique spot where we can synthesize all of the arts together. And we can bring participation in from places all around campus. And I think that that’s a really great opportunity to build a sort of community between the music departments and really create spaces for art to really thrive and to have a community of people who all love this similar thing, to learn from each other, to grow, and to create these projects and share them with the world.
I have picked up and started learning so many skills that I didn’t have. Before coming to Andover, I had a pretty narrow scope of what I thought theater was and what I thought I was interested in the theater world. But Andover has opened up so many other alleyways and possibilities for me to start exploring, which has been fundamental for my growth as an actress.
[Before last year], I hadn’t even done theater, so the first thing I ever did was [in] Grasshopper, and I remember the producers being really welcoming to me then. They introduced me to what I can do in the Theatre Department. And I think that was the thing I really needed. It showed me how friendly the Theatre Department could be, and how [welcoming] the environment was.