As part of her senior capstone project, Theater Arts and English major Carrie Ryan ’11 designed the set for Arcadia University’s production of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. The experience has expanded her skills and appreciation for her craft. (View photos from the dress rehearsal.)
“I was really drawn to the story and its messages about the power of words,” she says. Intrigued by the setting of Fascist Italy, she conducted extensive research and elected to go a more abstract route, drawing inspiration from the symbols and insignias that adorned Mussolini’s military attire.
Working behind the scenes since fall 2007, Ryan gained experience in past Arcadia productions such as the Stage Manager for The Stonewater Rapture (2009), Visit to a Small Planet (2009), The Princess Rescuers (2009), as well as the upcoming production of Club California (2011).
She also increased her familiarity with set design when she interned at the Theatre Camp of Montclair, N.J. during the summer of 2010.
“Designing a set on the Mainstage has been an absolute thrill-ride and it has given me a deeper appreciation for technical theatre,” says Ryan. “But now that I have become responsible for the outcome of a major part of the production, I have been forced to discover an entire new part of myself that I didn't know existed until this experience.”
As Ryan prepares to graduate, she looks forward to pursuing an array of interests that she has cultivated during her time at Arcadia.
“I needed a university that would challenge me and push me to do my utmost in all endeavors,” she says. “Now, with graduation creeping ever closer, I could not be happier with the decision I made in coming to Arcadia. I have met the most intriguing, influential, and compassionate people through the theatre department and am so grateful to have had the opportunity to grow into my own here.”
Julius Caesar will run from Feb. 24 to March 6 in the MainStage Theater. Mark Wade, Artistic Director of the Arcadia University Theater Program, directs the the all-female cast.