Although Westminster is smaller in size compared to larger neighboring schools, it still has an impact on the surrounding community, as evidenced by the involvement some Westminster students have with the local Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC).
Most faculty members encourage their students to participate in activities outside of the classroom to gain more experience. In fact, arts admin, communication, justice and political studies majors are required to complete an internship before graduation.
“October of my senior year, I started interning [at SLAC],” said Amy Ware, a recent arts administration graduate of Westminster. “I emailed [SLAC] and was like ‘Hey, I’m a senior and really want to get some experience. [In] April, they asked me to be in the box office to work full time.”
Ware is one of a few Westminster students and alumni actively involved in the SLAC community.
Trever Wilson, sophomore technical theatre major, just completed his job as assistant stage manager for the show “Tribes” at SLAC and is part of the company’s general electric staff.
“Just get out in the community, whatever major you’re in, and [get] involved,” Wilson said.
Along with SLAC, Wilson works at The Grand Theatre and will work at Pioneer Theatre Company on its upcoming show “It Happened One Christmas.”
Whether the off-campus experience is an internship, a job or volunteer work, the skills and connections made may help students after graduation, said Ware, a recent Westminster graduate.
“I have tons of friends who are business students and they’ve already [received] a promotion because of how hard they work,” Ware said. “I feel like anything you do outside of college [is] about building relationships. Half the battle is making the connections. If you start that in college, then you are already one step ahead of everybody else who’s about to graduate.”
Building relationships is one of the reasons Merry Magee, junior theatre major, started working at SLAC.
“My friend Amy Ware works there, and they needed more people to house manage,” Magee said.
Magee is currently a house manager at SLAC and takes care of audience services.
“You don’t need to wait until you’re graduated to go out and get work,” she said.
Although Westminster is smaller in size than the University of Utah or Utah Valley University, that doesn’t mean students have less of an effect on the community.
“I think [Westminster students] have just as big as an impact as everyone else,” said Wilson, technical theatre major. “We may be smaller, but doesn’t mean we’re not as valued.”
Participating in arts and culture off campus isn’t limited to theatre students. One Westminster graduate said attending these events are good for all majors.
“It’s super important for people to be involved in the arts,” said Alison Lente, a 2012 graduate of arts administration with an emphasis in theatre major. “There’s a lot of research based to the impact that arts can have on a person’s development and who they are.”