Sara Detrik '15
It's opening night and there's a feeling of nervous anticipation backstage as the actors wait for the play to begin. Junior theater major Sara Detrik is about to become someone else--a transformation that she finds exhilarating and challenging.
"It's what originally drew me to acting," said Detrik. "That feeling of ultimate fulfillment, that feeling of clicking with something."
The Fairfield native enrolled at Quinnipiac as a game design and development major, but a lifelong passion for acting eventually pulled her toward the stage during her sophomore year.
When Detrik took on the role of rebellious 16-year-old Pace Creagan in the Quinnipiac Theater for Community production of "The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek," she realized that she wanted to pursue acting seriously.
"I got Pace and she was a person beyond myself," said Detrik. "It was very difficult for me for the first time to go into that role, to access things safely and try to find out who this girl was. And I think in the end I did, which is why I keep going back to her. The role of Pace Creagan meant a lot to me and still means a lot to me."
Detrik directed the play "EMMA" this past March at the inaugural New Play Festival, a collaboration between the University and the Abingdon Theatre Company in New York City. It was an opportunity to put on a performance in front of a packed audience, but also a chance to build relationships with Abingdon's playwrights and directors.
"I know I keep them updated on what I do and they always are happy to help out," she said. "It's a lasting relationship that doesn't go away."
Being involved with the theater program has also allowed Detrik to form strong bonds with Quinnipiac faculty. Theater professor Kevin Daly helped her make the transition between majors. But Detrik says Daly's support goes well beyond just advising on course selection.
"He's always been there to listen if I ever needed it, which means so much in this department because theater is the study of the human condition," she said. "Sometimes you see things about yourself that you may have trouble accessing, and Kevin is always there to help you through it and to make you better."
After graduation, Detrik plans to focus her efforts on acting for film. Wherever she lands, Detrik knows that the small, supportive theater family at Quinnipiac will help her each step of the way.
"Here I have the ability to learn and make mistakes that I would feel terrified to make if I was anywhere else," she said. "We're all well-rounded and no one thinks of themselves as the star of the department. We're a community."
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