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Finding Your Best Fit School: Spotlight on Barnard - Part 1

Wed, Nov 23, 2011 @ 11:38 AM

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things...

Bethanie at Barnard CollegeWe've asked the IvyWise team to share some of their favorite things about the college they attended. Not one, but two of our team members are proud graduates of Barnard College in New York, NY. This week, our Executive Assistant, Bethanie tells us about her experiences at Barnard:

As a twenty-two year old, it’s pretty exciting to be able to say that I’ve performed on Broadway. While it’s probably not what you are thinking, the address of Barnard College is 3009 Broadway in New York City and I participated in numerous campus productions during my time there!

As a theatre major at Barnard College, each semester began with auditions. No matter how many times I had practiced my monologue in front of my mirror, standing in front of more than 100 of my fellow students and professors, many of who had performed and worked on “real” Broadway, was always a nerve-wracking experience. However, I am very grateful for this experience; those theatre department auditions are just one example of the ways in which my education at Barnard was always hands-on.

Not only did I stand in the spotlight onstage, but I contributed behind the curtain as well. I designed the sound for a production, worked on costumes, and even learned how to use power tools and build sets! I made friends with freshman and seniors alike, from all of the schools within Barnard and our affiliate, Columbia University. The majority of my professors were bona-fide professionals in the New York theatre scene, and many of my fellow graduates are already participating in festivals and performing in theatres and companies across the country!

My non-theatre friends often complained that my homework assignments were easy; I got to go to shows and write about them, and I was able to sing, act and direct in scenes with my some of my best friends. But in reality, to understand the context of the works I was reading and performing, I had to learn about everything from ancient cultures and histories, to political movements, to gender theory, to environmental issues, to current crises, and more. For example, while my final acting thesis was a performance in Tom Stoppard’s play, Cahoot’s Macbeth, when I wasn’t rehearsing, I was doing research to write my final paper. I came across Ludwig Wittgenstein’s work in linguistic philosophy, and as a result my performance changed drastically!  

While I miss the tight-knit theatre community at Barnard and Columbia, I continually return to campus to see my friends perform. And, now that I’m not working on three shows at a time, I love heading further down Broadway to enjoy the other New York City theater!

Insider tip: Visit the Student Life Office at Barnard for free and discounted tickets to Broadway shows, comedy shows, opera, baseball games, and more. I attended countless events for a fraction of the ticket price! Your Barnard ID will also give you free admission and access to almost every museum in the city. One reason I got so much out of my experience at school was that I went off campus to experience theatre in the heart of Manhattan!

Be sure to stay tuned for our Research and Data Analyst Katy's perspective on Barnard in Part 2!

 

Sarah Shanahan

Written by Sarah Shanahan

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