Chicago Center Student Highlight: Rayvonne Wright

This summer, Rayvonne Wright from Hastings College is completing an internship at the EDGE of Orion Theatre. Read on to hear about her experience at her internship and what she has learned so far.

There are a plethora of reasons as to why I decided to apply for an internship at the Chicago Center, but the main one is I wanted to remain in motion and constantly doing creative things with my time during the summer. I wanted to continually put my time and energy into bettering my knowledge and understanding of my field (theatre) and learning about the world I live in from a different point of view that I was not used to. And I believe it is fair to say I would not have achieved that by sitting on my butt back in Texas.

My favorite activity in Chicago is venturing into the city to find different fabric and sewing

shops that are not a “chain” so that I can support shops that are local to the city. The most difficult aspect of my experience has been taking public transit to every location I go and being patient with the inconsistency with public transit.

It hasn't been very difficult to do an internship in Chicago during COVID-19 as long as you follow the guidelines set by not only the Chicago Center, but the state as well. But it has been otherwise very nice. There are limitations to what is open and where we can go because of the quarantine but that makes each place we go even more important and vital . I value what we have been given and the people I have met because of this quarantine.

Since I am working with a theatre program that focuses on theatre productions that

incorporate neurally diverse individuals it is amazing to learn how costumes and theater

productions are being run in a different way from the idea of a neural-typical theatre

environment. I am learning to make Visual Diagrams to give the actors a visual representation

of how the costumes are to be worn and arranged on the body. This is something I have never

had to do and it is super exciting to learn about something that is in my field, that I was

completely unaware was a method of costume design. This is just one of the things I am

learning but I believe it is the most important to speak about since this brings in an entirely new

perspective that I have never had to consciously think about for theatre. The idea that people

who are neurally diverse sometimes need a little extra assistance when it comes to costume

and the arrangement of costumes. It really has made me realize that that is something I wasn't

fully aware of in a theatre environment.

I have learned that theatre is far more than a “show." It is a creative outlet that many people, myself included, need so that they can release this creative energy that otherwise would be left untapped. This is a community that has thrived for thousands of years and they love putting on a production to re-tell a tale in a new light. This community will continue to do what they love no matter what and if that means it is done digitally in a zoom meeting then that is something they will do. They are not going to let these amazing actors let their time be wasted because of Quarantine. They realize this is the perfect time to be even more creative and resourceful so that the show can go on. That theatre is important for not only those who work within it but it is important for those who watch as well.

This experience has definitely helped me grow. To understand that there is more than one community of people in the theatre and that they need a little extra help from time to times. It makes me realize I have to be even more open minded to those who are in my community and to communicate with them so that they can be on the same playing field as the rest of the actors. That is a skill I can take not only into other theater departments but into my everyday life as well.

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