Armand Schultz (1981)
What I loved about NU Theatre was that everyone who was involved was involved in every aspect of creating theatre. You were expected to take part in building the sets, lighting, props and stage management, in addition to performing in the shows. It created a great sense of community as well as a knowledge and respect of every aspect of what goes into making a show. The training I received was very much of the "learn by doing" process, to which I am a strong believer. We weren't all theatre majors back then, but everyone took part in doing the work. And it was fun!
I also loved performing on the "old Clet Hall" 3/4 thrust stage. My actor training began on that stage. Being surrounded by the audience had an intimate feel where you knew you had to be connected and truthful at all times. When I eventually got on to a traditional proscenium stage at Artpark, the audience felt so far away; I missed that intimacy.
The ability to work on seven productions a year back then, which included musicals, Shakespeare, and modern drama, gave us the ability to work in all forms. The education I received in my other classes at Niagara gave me a great liberal arts background from which to broaden my perspective and understanding of different cultures, ideas and points of view, all of which are highly valuable to an actor's arsenal in portraying different characters. Those lessons learned both onstage and off are still with me today.