This year, Education at Roundabout celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Since 1996, Education at Roundabout has served as a national leader in arts education, using theatrical disciplines to create responsive programming that serves students, educators, early career professionals, and audiences. To celebrate this milestone, we asked members of the Education at Roundabout community to reflect on how Roundabout’s programs have impacted their lives.
Below, Dimitri Normil, a member of Roundabout’s after school program, Student Production Workshop (SPW) reflects on his journey into costume design.
My name is Dimitri Normil and I’m a member of the Student Production Workshop ensemble. When I first joined SPW, I was extremely nervous because it was my first-time interviewing/auditioning for something. First, I had a great interview for the Tech/Design track with Teaching Artist Theresa. Then I auditioned for the Performance track. I had only learned about SPW the night before, and in my mind, auditioning for something on such short notice seemed scary. But the atmosphere at SPW was so warm and welcoming that I felt like I could do it with no problems. After my interview and audition I was proud of myself, and that feeling grew even more when I was accepted in the Tech/Design track.
The past two years I’ve spent in SPW have been nothing but great. I’ve made some great friends and got the chance to see some amazing shows. So far, my favorites were Love, Love, Love and Therese Raquin. I’ve learned so much about technical design from Theresa and the other Teaching Artists who come in and lead workshops about costumes, set, sound, and lighting design. The Teaching Artists push you to take risks, which isn’t hard in SPW’s comfortable environment.
During my first summer at SPW, I got to be a costume designer for our production of She Was as Beautiful as the Moon. Being a costume designer was a new experience for me, and I was excited to learn more about what goes into designing character’s costumes. It was such an amazing experience. I got to work with a great mentor, and teamed up with amazing people, who are now my friends. This summer, I took on greater responsibility as the Production Manager for our production of Little By Little. SPW has taught me a lot in the past two years. I hope to take the skills I've learned and use them in the future to achieve great things. Because of SPW, I have a wide range of opportunities for my future. I'd recommend this program to anyone who enjoys theater, there's so much to take away from it. It helps you grow more as a person. Being a part SPW has been an adventure, and I can’t wait to see what next year holds.
Education @ Roundabout, Student Production Workshop