Darcy Rose Coussens, TMU contributor and sophomore at Northwestern University
Hey there readers, my name is Darcy, and I can't wait to share my investigation of Chicago theater with you! I hope you're ready, because I am shooting to hit up all kinds of theaters and theater artists in Chicago this semester.
I'm a sophomore majoring in theater at Northwestern University, and originally from a town called Batavia, a little west of Chicago. I thought I had experienced Chicago theater growing up by seeing a musical now and then, but...boy. I had no idea about tons of incredibly cool productions going on. Last year, my first theater class here at NU exposed me to a whole slew of directors, theaters, and plays in Chicago that I had never heard of. After that, what can I do but dive into the Windy City and seek out all that I've been missing? And I figured the world at large should know about some of the amazing things going on in Chicago too!
A little about me: I grew up devoting my life to dance, but somehow that led me to theater, and I was hooked. I performed for years at the American Girl Theater in Chicago, which engendered a serious respect for theater for young audiences. I was a young girl performing in a musical for young girls, and I believe I was affected at least as much as the audiences!
I have choreographed two musicals here at Northwestern, and I'm hoping to pursue choreography further, both in theater and dance. I feel like the field of dance has become very abstract, and I love that theater can be much more direct and relatable. I am especially intrigued by physical theater -- so far I have learned in college that one of the huge things Chicago has to offer is experimentation with movement as an integral part of storytelling. That just seems right up my alley.
Along that line, Lookingglass Theatre's Peter Pan (A Play) was one of the first performances that got me hooked on Chicago theater last year. I went with one of my classes to the dress rehearsal of this pretty intense adaptation of Peter Pan. The creative, often very risky approaches to flying, fight scenes, and physicality in the show was completely enthralling.
Here's the thing: So many people, upon learning I am majoring in theater, respond with, "oh, so you'll be heading to New York in a few years?" Well, not necessarily. Of course New York has tons to offer, but I think Chicago just may have plenty of opportunities itself. Variety is certainly a strong point of Chi-town theater in general, so stay tuned each week to find out about some of the crazy cool things happening out here in the Midwest and some of the amazing people making them happen!