Southeastern Theatre Conference Experience Helps Prepare Trevecca Students for Emerging Careers

| Student Life


Trevecca’s Theatre Department works to equip its students with opportunities for growth. For juniors Sydney Gales and Kimberly Wier this spring, that included a special experience that helped them begin their careers in the industry when they were encouraged to attend the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) in Mobile, Alabama.

 As they each approach their final year of college, Gales and Wier have spent many hours in the theatre program, particularly behind the scenes. Gales, a dramatic arts and organizational communications major with an interpersonal communications minor, loves stage managing. Wier, a dramatic arts major and an applied theater minor, lives to work in costume design. Both were able to further their knowledge at SETC.

 Southeastern Theatre Conference is a yearly conference where people can connect, learn and work on their skills in theater. Attendees participate in job fairs, a keynote speaker presentation, a gala and a multitude of breakout sessions. For actors, there are also audition opportunities for various theater companies and schools. Dr. Frame, director of the theatre department, encouraged Gales and Wier to attend for all of these sessions and other opportunities specific to their future in theatre. 

At the conference, Wier was part of a session that focused on practicality with her potential future career in costume design. “I got to go to sessions that were specifically geared towards being a designer and getting to connect with a lot of other designers and a lot of other just people in the industry,” she said. 

Gales learned a lot about best practices and safety in stage managing. “As I'm doing my senior project in the fall, I will be using that information,” she said.

 Gales and Wier were thankful for the breakout sessions, but ultimately were focused on the job fair. To their excitement, both students received job offers on the spot–Gales as a stage manager and Wier as a costume designer–at Stagedoor Manor in New York. Both are moving to New York before returning after this summer to finish their undergraduate degrees at Trevecca. “We're excited because we're kind of getting to plan together,” Wier said. 

Both students credit Trevecca with preparing them for this big career opportunity. “We’re able to pretty much be in any position we want,” Gales said. “I went into the job fair with a lot more on my resume than other students, whether that’s stage managing or assisting with costumes, lighting, makeup, hair, etc.” 

Wier added that the preparation from the communications department boosted her confidence at the job fair. “I have taken communications classes that prepared me for interviews and for pitching myself,” she said. “Those skills allowed me to feel really confident going into these interviews.”

For future Trevecca students, Gales and Wier had encouragement to pass along. “I would say the program is what you make it,” says Gales.” Getting connected with the older students and being able to learn from them and make connections made all the difference.” 

Wier added, “I think one of the biggest things that stands out to me is the community. There is just this sense of being a true family and getting to create art. I’m very grateful to have done shows here. And as long as you put yourself out there and you do your best, then those opportunities are going to find you.”