I haven’t been able to find the right words over the past couple of weeks, but I’ll try now. The theatre changed my entire life in college, and the trajectory of my life since. It gave me real confidence for the first time. It built a community around me that helped me with anxiety and depression. It pushed me to excel in my studies, to develop my voice on stage and in writing, and eventually gave me the tools that I needed to excel in teaching overseas and in graduate school.
I met my wife doing lighting and sound design for a show, and we spent time together on several subsequent productions, surrounded by people who cared for us and supported our relationship. It provided a place of mentorship, where I was able to work alongside professors whom I admired, who taught me by example as we built sets and ran rehearsals.
More than almost anything else in my life after leaving home, the theatre made me the person that I am proud to be today. These things can’t always be quantified, but they should count for something.
WSU should be fighting for ways to keep the performing arts, not fighting to justify its end. What we value as people, we will fight for. It is clear that this administration does not value the arts enough to fight for them.