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Answers From The Learned Ladies: Part 1

Gianfranco Lentini's fellow Hofstra University students describe what it means to them to major in Drama.

Cast members of The Learned Ladies hard at work! (Left to Right): Ryan Molloy, Elizabeth Parot, Max Baudisch, Peter Previte
(© Gianfranco Lentini)
This past summer while I was interning with New York Classical Theatre, I asked the cast and crew working on the production what would be their one piece of advice they would give an actor/actress/crewmember. (See that post here!) Now that school is in session and department shows at Hofstra University have already begun performances, I decided another similar article wouldn't be a bad idea!

The Learned Ladies, which I am Assistant Stage Manager for, is currently in rehearsal for their November performances. For this post I asked the cast for their insight on this question - What does it mean to you to have the opportunity to major in Drama? - and here are some of the answers I got in return! Enjoy!

Cameron Draper, Footman, Sophomore, BA - My [double] major is [Drama and] Public Relations and my goal is to do PR for a theatre company, so studying drama helps me learn the inner workings of a theatre company. I get to study something I'm passionate about as well as something that can be applied to what I want to do with my life.

Jesse Eberl, Trissotin, Sophomore, BA - I would feel incomplete without the theater. There's that classic old song that goes, "There's no people like show people!" -- and I really believe that to be true. Now more than ever, we need to be reminded of what it means to be human, to listen to each other, to have compassion. And that's what we take from the theater.

Monica Lee, Servant, Sophomore, BA - When asked that question, the first thing I think of is how lucky I am to have a family who supports my dreams. There are so many talented individuals who won't ever get the chance to major in something they are passionate about. I feel extremely fortunate to have a family that wants to do everything they can to help me foster my talent.

Ryan Molloy, Clitandre, Sophomore, BA - It's to be able to pursue your dreams with the full support and engagement of everyone around you. Many people believe it's an outlandish or unrealistic career path to choose. But being able to major in performance has shown me that it's not at all a ridiculous choice, and furthermore is very possible to succeed in.

Elizabeth Parot, Henriette, Senior, BFA - Majoring in performing arts means being able to choose the life path that most fulfills me. It means going to work does not feel like work at all since these are things I would hope to be doing in my spare time. The thought that someone would pay me to do what I love never ceases to blow my mind. I think everyone has a passion and should follow it in his or her work; I feel so fortunate to have found mine. I will never be able to fully reciprocate the gratitude I feel towards my parents for supporting me as I pursue my dreams.

Peter Previte, Artiste, Junior, BA - Having the opportunity to be able to major in Drama is amazing. Getting to do what I love every day is a dream come true. When I decided to pursue Drama, specifically Acting, I knew I needed some kind of training because I started late. So being able to come to school and get that training was a blessing. Remember though, the decision to major in Drama requires your full being… and it shouldn't be undertaken with doubts… If you have no doubts, and you're ready to make the commitment, then go for it if you can. You learn so much about Drama, and a lot about life and people.

Mary St.Angelo, Philaminte, Senior, BFA - The training I've gotten in my years here is invaluable. I could not have gone into the business after high school; I never would have learned the great things I've learned at college. I've also found a specialization within my field that my acting program introduced me to, which I might never have discovered elsewhere.

Laura Walsh, Bélise Junior, BFA - I am so grateful that I have the opportunity and privilege to be a Drama Major. I'm a firm believer in the arts and keeping them in schools. I know if I didn't have theater now and even before college, I would not enjoy studying; my learning/education would not be well rounded. I may have even dropped out. I think everyone should take an acting class if they get the chance, even if they don't want to be an actor because it would give one insight on the human condition in a hands-on way. Thus, it means the world to me to be a Theater Performance major and I encourage others to try it out if they get the amazing chance.


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