A day in the life of a theater student: Lizzy Rich

By Staff Writer Sophia Pezzini

Lizzy Rich is a third year theater major in the College of Fine Arts. As perhaps one of the busier students on campus, she described her average Tuesday schedule from start to finish – 9:45 a.m. to 10 or 11 p.m., in addition to a potential 18 hours of being “on call.”

Any time Tuesday through Friday from 6 p.m. -11 p.m., as well as Saturday from 10 p.m. -11 p.m., Rich can be on call.

Rich begins her Tuesdays at 9:45 with either a breakfast from Starbucks or a homemade meal and heads over to her dramatic literature class. The class entails learning about the history of plays and other dramatic pieces of literature, and is Rich’s only “traditional” class. The class is traditional in the sense that she is given homework, and the teacher lectures and she must actually sit at a desk.

“The way the School of Theatre works, we don’t have a normal college schedule, ” Rich said.

Rich said she takes nine classes, which are devalued to two or three credits so she is able to fit more into her schedule, and only one of these classes is at a desk. The other eight are “studio” classes where she practices and performs.

After her dramatic literature class, Rich has an hour and a half break, and then she heads to her three hour “autobiography” theater ensemble class, “which is essentially making theater as a group,” she said.

Her professor, Lydia Diamond, currently has a play coming out on Broadway being produced by Alicia Keys, Rich said. “It’s sick, and she knows more about me than my friends do.”

Following her theater ensemble class, Rich has an hour to travel over to the Huntington Theatre, which is on Northeastern University’s campus, to get to her tech class. This class is “essentially whatever they need done,” involving the technical side of theater, said Rich. The tech class lasts until 10 p.m.

As busy as her schedule is already, “any time on Tuesday from 6 to 10 or 11, and then Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. [the professors] can call us and tell us we have to come in,” Rich said.

Outside of classes, Rich said she sometimes helps out in the Women’s Resource Center and has worked on the popular feminist play, “The Vagina Monologues.” She also said she gives tours to student groups of the BU campus.

Being in the School of Theatre, she is not allowed to do any productions outside of CFA without written permission. Like being in medical school, “that [theater] is your whole life and they expect you to know that,” Rich said.

“First and foremost, I want to be an actor,” Rich said about her impending graduation.

The School of Theatre is “not an acting school, but a theater school,” which means that the students are preparing themselves for a career on the stage rather than in film, she said. Rich is also considering a career in arts administration as her backup plan to being an actor.

Theater’s grading system is unique at BU, Rich said, and she finds to be the most difficult part of being a CFA student.

“My work that gets graded is me. It’s not a product I put out, it’s literally me,” she said. “You’re opening up your soul and exposing things about yourself…and you come back from class and your roommate’s like, ‘I’m writing a paper,’ and you say, ‘I just got ripped apart in class and it wasn’t my work, it was me.’”

Despite the grueling schedule and the intense system of grading, Rich said she loves being a CFA student because she gets to go to school each day and “play pretend.”

“I get to lie on the floor and color with crayons, and I get to…revert to being a child every day.”

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One comment

  1. Annastashia Parke

    Very nice piece. My name is Stashia Parke. I am actually trying to get in touch with Lizzy, but her facebook seems unsearchable. If you see her could you tell her I tried to find her, but it wouldn’t work.

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