Nicholas Dekker '01
Since Calvin, my wife and I went to graduate school at The Ohio State University. I finished my Ph.D. in Theatre in 2007, writing about the influence of German culture on British theatre from 1890 to 1918. Our school work also took us to London twice to study contemporary British theatre. In addition, we served in various production capacities such as acting, directing, writing, designing, and dramaturging different plays. We're also founding members of Wild Goose Creative in Columbus, Ohio, an arts company focusing on community, creativity, hospitality, and education. We've produced a wide range of artistic events, including theatre and music performances, workshops, an art gallery, and even events focused on the culinary arts.
Currently, I'm teaching with the Ohio State Department of Theatre, mainly heading up our gigantic Introduction to Theatre course, which has about 700-800 students per quarter. I get to lecture, handle the course administration, and oversee 8-10 graduate teaching assistants. Theatre has become my life's work - that's how it's influenced it! I love how, in studying theatre and introducing students to it, I get to engage so many facets of education: history, culture, literature, the sciences, etc.
Advice I would give to current and prospective theatre students? Take in as much as you and let it influence you. Read as many plays as you can. Study the history. Attend as many productions as you can. Try every different aspect of the theatre process: act, write, direct, design, manage. Everything you do is a learning experience. Also, make your own opportunities. You won't always get offered the chance to do what you want, so look for ways to do it. Write your own show. Act in it. Find someone to perform with. Offer to direct or stage manage someone's show. Work as an assistant director, designer, etc. Again, everything you do can be made into a valuable experience. Most of all, remember that you're telling stories. Have fun with it; connect with people.