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November 2, 2016


Some theatre students want to see their names in lights. Riva Fairhall ’17 is more interested in designing scenery and lights.

Riva, a Theatre Studies major from Takoma Park, Md., is Assistant Scenic Designer for Woyzeck, the first production of the 2016-17 season for Guilford College Theatre.

She gained valuable experience over the summer through an internship as the Assistant Lighting Designer at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill. She shadowed Lighting Designer Dominic Abbenante, who also is the Lighting Designer for Woyzeck.

The Curtain Rises

One of the most memorable parts of her internship was standing in for Dominic at a technical rehearsal.

“It was a terrifying experience,” Riva says. “I consider myself a pretty confident and intrepid person, but the night before I must have stress-ate half a pound of jelly beans!”

“But the Department of Theatre Studies here at Guilford really instills in us the idea that theatre is a team effort, and no matter what you need to show up and commit. I showed up and, after an initial scare of not being able to find the on/off button to one of the machines, I did it.”

Well Rehearsed

Her experience at Guilford, working in a variety of roles on a variety of productions, prepared her for her internship. It also prepared her for the next step after she graduates in May.

“Guilford taught me well — by putting my fear aside and showing up to tackle the task at hand, regardless of all bumps in the road, everyone around me was willing to meet me where I was and help me learn and succeed.”

Interested in studying theatre at Guilford? Get details on the program, and schedule a visit to meet with our counselors and faculty.