News Feature

Stage of Development

Senior gains experience through Kennedy Center program

Learning with some of the best young theater directors in the country could be an intimidating proposition for any student. But, Bridgewater State University’s Rose Webster, ’20, has a different perspective.

“I think Bridgewater wants us to be risk takers and open to new experiences and push ourselves to grow,” said Rose, who recently participated in the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ prestigious Directing Intensive in Washington, D.C. “Going in with that in mind was really helpful and it helped me jump right in.”

Rose, a theater education and secondary education major from Sandwich, directed several plays on BSU’s campus. Her credits include Marsha Norman’s 'night Mother, which explores suicide. She learned about the Kennedy Center opportunity from Dr. Colleen Rua, assistant professor of theater, and was thrilled to be among 18 chosen for the six-day program.

While she saw some D.C. sights, the early June trip was far from a vacation. Rose spent 12-hour days honing her skills through workshops, watching plays and directing scenes. She appreciated receiving feedback on her work from experts.

“The people there were so welcoming and inviting,” she said, praising the opportunity to meet and befriend directors from around the country. “It was a great experience to have and to be in that community where we all love doing the same thing.”

Rose sees that same warm atmosphere when she’s among fellow thespians at BSU and the Department of Theatre’s faculty.

"The professors here are great,” she said. “They help push me to be a better student.”

She encourages younger Bears to become involved and try something new, just as she did at the Kennedy Center.

Rose, who has completed her academic coursework, is preparing to student teach at The Sage School in Foxboro this fall.

“I’ve loved theater ever since I was a kid. I love children and I love teaching,” she said. “So I thought ‘Why not combine the two passions into one?’ If you’re going to do something for the rest of your life, why not be happy?”

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