First time seeing the finished set, from the audience, for "The Drowsy Chaperone."

First time seeing the finished set, from the audience, for “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Working in Beeghly has been more than a work study job for the last year and a half. It’s been rewarding, frustrating, amusing, and I’m really going to miss it. I have one more day left of work at the theatre before I am cast off into the real world of being a college graduate, but I think I’d rather stay.

Kitchen unit for "Beauty Queen of Leenane" that I was quite proud of accomplishing. I promise you, raked stages are really difficult to work with, especially as your first show as a shop employee.

Kitchen unit for “Beauty Queen of Leenane” that I was quite proud of accomplishing. I promise you, raked stages are really difficult to work with, especially as your first show as a shop employee.

Initially I took THE 101, or Intro to Theatre, with Terry. I had always enjoyed being part of the set design and stage crew in middle and high school, but never had the time in college to participate. However, after being introduced to the shop during the fall of 2011 and hearing that there would be opportunities to get paid for building things, I jumped at the chance! And I’m so glad that I did. I’ve met some talented (and/or amusing) people here, learned from the best (thanks Terry and Paula!), and pushed myself beyond comfort (man those ladder are really high).

Throughout the last year and a half working in the theater, I’ve gained an enormous amount of skills and knowledge that I will be able to use in everyday life. I’ve learned how to make the impossible possible out of no more than a scale replica and some old pieces of lumber. And when it doesn’t turn out right, I have learned how to modify the design or start the whole thing over again (with quite a bit of grumbling) to create just what the designer had in mind. I’ve learned that it’s difficult working with people who don’t have the passion and drive to appreciate what you can accomplish when everyone works together. But I have learned it’s all worth it in the end. Deadlines exist, hard work is a must, and the rewards are endless.

Work in progress: set of "Beauty Queen of Leenane" with the raked stage.

Work in progress: set of “Beauty Queen of Leenane” with the raked stage.

I’ve gained many fond memories from working in Beeghly that I will remember for years to come: Justin almost catching my hair on fire as we use blow torches to create texture on our rock walls for “As You Like It,” four square shenanigans as the semester comes to a close; the kitchen island that was constructed with so much wood and stage weights that it was nearly impossible to move for “The Drowsy Chaperone;” that impossible bookshelf that we all seemed to rebuild about five times before it turned out to be square, not higher than the counter top behind it, and the right color for “Stop Kiss;” being completely covered in white primer from painting under platforms for “Book of Days” because who knew that in order for wood to look like wood under stage lighting, it has to be primed white and painted with about 5 more layers of paint; and being called over to build the impossible carpentry pieces because “Hilary can do it.” Each show has special memories for me. Some are funny, some are serious, but they’ll all stay with me as I move on to the next chapter of my life.

My favorite project: carving the rocks out of foam and using the blow torches with Carol and Justin for "As You Like It."

My favorite project: carving the rocks out of foam and using the blow torches with Carol and Justin for “As You Like It.”

I hope to come back and visit Theatre Westminster as an alum. With so many seniors, including myself, leaving this year, I hope that there are dedicated and passionate employees, ready to step up and fill our shoes. They’re big shoes to fill, but with a little time and patience you can learn all we know and more! If you do choose to become part of the shop employee community, I promise that in the end, it’ll be a rewarding experience. You’ll miss it when you leave the Westminster community; I know I will.