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Student Spotlight: Rebecca Weaver

Rebecca Weaver, originally from Anniston, Alabama, is a senior double-majoring in Drama and English. A proud member of Alpha Psi Omega, Rebecca was one of a select few students in the U.S. invited to participate in the National LMDA/KCACTF Fellowship. 

Do you have any hobbies? 

I like writing, reading, and more often than not, binging Netflix or playing old school video games.

What is the last book you read?

The last book I read for fun was The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray; however, I am currently reading Aristotle’s Poetics.

What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but I eat a lot of Chick-fil-a.

Why did you choose to come to JSU?

I was actually at another university in South Carolina. JSU was always on my radar growing up, considering my entire family had attended. Due to shifting circumstances, I had to move to South Carolina, which is why I ended up at a school there. However, I eventually moved back home. JSU was my first choice mostly because my dad had such a great experience here, and I was really looking forward to studying in the English Department.

Why did you choose your majors?

I began as an English major because there was (and still is) nothing that I like to do more than read and write. However, I took an Intro to Theatre class with Carrie Colton and realized that I loved theatre as well. She pointed me in the direction of dramaturgy, and Dr. Michael Boynton guided me along the way. I found another passion. So, I combined both of my passions for English and Theatre.

Why do you love doing what you do at JSU?

The professors. They are so passionate about what they do that they make me passionate and excited. They push me hard and want me to go above and beyond their expectations. It might seem like a lot, but they only push so that we get better and never settle for anything less than extraordinary. That goes for the Drama professors as well as the English professors.

How did you get the opportunity to compete in the National LMDA/KCACTF Fellowship?

The process is definitely a long one. First, I had to dramaturg a show at JSU. We have KCACTF respondents come to our mainstage shows, and then afterward they nominate students who they believe excelled in the production. When I was nominated for my work on She Kills Monsters, I got to attend the regional festival. In order to participate in regionals, I submitted what we call a dramaturgical protocol/casebook; my casebook contains the most significant parts of my research and my contributions to the overall production. While at the regional festival, I was participating in the 10-minute play festival as a dramaturg on a new play, attending dramaturgy intensives with a professional dramaturg, and having an interview/review with the dramaturgy respondent. Based on my performance at the festival and my work for our production, they awarded me the LMDA/KCACTF Dramaturgy Award for Region IV. From there, I had to apply again to nationals by editing my casebook and sending it to the dramaturgy representatives at the national level. At this point in the process, I was being judged against all other regional winners. They then notified me of my invitation, which included an all-expense paid residency. I am one of four student nationally to be awarded a fellowship.

What was the most exciting part about this experience?

The best part is knowing that the work I’m doing is being recognized and that it is provocative enough to warrant consideration for a national award. Dramaturgy isn’t a well-known field, even among theatre artists. But more than anything, I am so excited to be able to learn more from professionals in my field (especially Mark Bly, who is regarded as the “father of American dramaturgy”), who can help me improve my technique and teach me new and innovative ways to bring dramaturgy to theatre. I am always looking for opportunities to improve my work, so this fellowship is a dream come true.

What comes next (in the competition and for you this year)?

In the competition, I plan to exceed at nationals and in the workshops and master classes in which I will be participating. For the year, I am presenting a paper on my dramaturgical approach to She Kills Monsters at the National Pop Culture Association Conference in DC, at which I will be accompanied by Dr. Boynton. While there, I hope to gain experience and meet some peers in my field. I also plan to have a summer fellowship as a dramaturg so that I can start working professionally in my field. This upcoming school year will be my final year, and I hope to go out with a bang. I want to learn more, do more, and be more than I ever thought was possible.



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