J. Todd Bennett
I spent my first two years at OU doing theatre because it was fun and I enjoyed it. I loved it, but I thought of it as an extracurricular activity. In my junior year—after I realized that I wasn’t going to be major in Biology, to the relief of every professor in Goslin—I started to recognize that my love for theatre didn’t have to be an extracurricular love, that “art making” was a way to know the world, a kind of inquiry and an intervention. I just wasn’t sure what that could mean for me professionally. I was in Hearst one afternoon and I happened to pass by Dr. Vicki Weiss and I mentioned the struggle. Very offhandedly, she said something like ‘well, do what students in other disciplines do when they’re investigating career paths: find out what internships are out there.’
Of course, it seems so simple now. But at the time it was a bit of a revelation for me. The idea that there was apprenticeship in art making—practical experiences that students could have so their affinities could transform into opportunities—THAT was new. So I did some research and found my internship at the Spoleto Festival, which ended up being a transformative experience for me.
–Troy Dwyer ’94, associate professor, Department of Theatre & Dance, Muhlenberg College