From now until the end of the school year, we will be introducing and celebrating our graduating students, looking back on the work they've done during their time here, and sharing their reflections and wisdom as they head off into the world. Today, we meet the first undergraduate of our series, graduating Drama major student Gabi Boettner. Gabi hails from Spokane, Washington, and she is a multi-disciplinary artist graduating with a triple degree in Drama Performance, Interdisciplinary Visual Art, and English with a focus in Creative Writing. In Gabi's theatre work, she considers herself an actor/collaborator with an interest in developing new work. She is also a printmaker, sculptor, photographer and poet. Recently, for her Drama Capstone, Gabi has also taken on the role of curator/producer relating to her interest in arts leadership.
What do you know now that you didn’t know when you started here?
UW helped me gain a strong sense of my own voice as an artist and activist. I know now that an enriching artistic practice does not separate these realms but instead allows them to grow together in bold and powerful ways.
Any plans for after graduation or dreams for the future that you can share?
I recently accepted a 2018/2019 season-long internship in the Artistic Department of the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, New Jersey starting in August. I am psyched to figure out what life is like inside a top regional theatre, and to be super close to the dynamic art scenes of New York and Philadelphia. After the internship I plan to look for arts leadership and acting/directing work in New York or Chicago or to pursue graduate study in performance hopefully in the UK.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?
That’s a hard one! There was the time David Henry Hwang tweeted about my first ever college production of Yellow Face with UTS. There was that time our apartment caught fire at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (only funny later at the pub). There was directing Julius Caesar on the bank of the Tiber in Rome this past summer. There was playing Claudius and Tierney and Sasha and so many others!
What advice do you have to people who might follow in your footsteps?
Apply for everything. Audition for everything. Get Coffee. Also know that you can always make your own work if you feel like you aren’t being presented with the options you want. Don’t take on so much at one time that you can’t totally immerse yourself in an experience. Theatre is what you do, it doesn’t determine your human worth and dignity, so take breaks to remember that!
Why do we need theatre?
Theatre can investigate the most complex and emotionally charged aspects of our existence with a sense of honesty and urgency that only a human performer in relation to a human audience in a shared moment can employ. We need theatre to keep engaging us in conversations about the wider sociocultural narratives of now, in relation to our past and our future.