"I Found Exactly What I Wanted and I Couldn't Be Happier," Says Theatre Alum
Whether scenic painting, stage management or acting, Addision Powers was always involved in a show at the Performing Arts Center. Powers participated in 17 theatre productions and stage managed six dance shows at RWU. Since graduating, Powers has made a career out of this passion, serving as the technical director for the Fredericksburg Theatre Company in Fredericksburg, Texas.
What does performing arts mean to you?
The performing arts have been a major part of my life ever since I could walk. I took dance classes for 17+ years, played clarinet for 9 years and did theater performances whenever possible. No matter what happened in my day to day life, I could always count on these forms of self-expression to make me feel better on a bad day and make me feel happy to be myself. So in a way, performing arts taught me that is was okay to be different, and that I could be whatever I wanted to be if I worked hard enough.
What have you been up to since graduation?
I have been working! Before graduation I was accepted to an internship for stage management at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, FL. I started this internship two weeks after graduation. After Sarasota, I went to Rochester, NY for a theater technician apprenticeship. Then, I freelanced in Connecticut for a few months doing stage management for a community theater and lighting design for a private school.
After lots of moving across the country, long shifts, hard work and trying new things (and easily 100 job applications), I found exactly what I wanted and couldn’t be happier.
I am currently working in my dream job as Technical Director for The Fredericksburg Theater Company in Fredericksburg, Texas. Along with all of my production duties, I teach the youngest group (1st-5th grade) in our youth theater program, The Fredericksburg Theater Academy. I teach the theater and dance portion of the class. I have recently made my director’s debut at the theater, directing our Fall drama, “12 Angry Men”, Which ran this October (2019). In the new year, I will be acting in the ensemble for our winter musical, “Young Frankenstein”.
What role did RWU play in helping you figure out your next steps?
The entire theatre department at RWU saw how much I enjoyed what I was doing and helped me make a lot of decisions that shaped me into who I am. Originally, I went into RWU considering acting as my major. I went in as general theater for my first semester, and found I loved the design and tech classes a lot more than I was expecting. Late in the first semester, I was asked to help run the light board for a dance show. After that show, I knew what I wanted and switched over to a theater tech track and began to stage manage.
When I was trying to switch minors (originally I was a French minor) Dr. Jeffrey Martin made the suggestion I try arts management. He helped me sign up for the right classes within the Gabelli School of Business and setup an internship with our department admin Lori Medeiros. Having this minor has really helped round out my resume and taught me a huge range of skills that is incredibly useful in my current job.
The theatre faculty at RWU helped me write resumes, crafted letters of recommendation, and taught me how to paint a set piece to look like marble and how to run a light board. If I had an interest in something (even if it wasn’t covered in class), they happily told me anything I wanted to know about it and would find ways to get me experience in that area of theater. This learning environment was inviting and unlike any other.
What skills did you gain at RWU that you find yourself applying to your work now?
Simply, be unafraid to try new things. If you work hard and try every day, you will find yourself exactly where you want to be. I know this sounds like a motivational poster, but it really helped me get to where I currently am today.
What is a favorite memory from your time at RWU?
I loved the London Study Abroad Program. The experiences and memories from that trip will be with me for the rest of my life.