How the WYART Apprenticeship Paved My Future.12375072_10203458426861190_7289120055501382757_o

by Ariel Dickerson


What is your passion in life? Students are expected to know what they want to do within their first few years of high school. For some people finding a passion or a future career is easy, for others it’s not as simple. Mine was a mixture of knowing what I wanted to do, but not knowing how it was actually possible.
I started out doing theater as a freshmen in high school and absolutely fell in love with it. I loved how the lights, sounds, and sets all came together to form its own work of art. My issue was that I couldn’t choose one area that I liked the best. Sophomore year I tried different areas and was even able to assistant stage manage the spring musical. During that time one of my mother’s close friend and a board member at Weathervane Playhouse, suggested that I join the Apprenticeship Program. I applied and eventually was accepted as a stage management apprentice for two of the season’s shows. I had no idea what to expect or what I was going to be doing, but the first time I walked into the rehearsal room the stage managers were so nice and answered all of my many questions. After my two shows were up I asked Kirsten Upchurch, the Head of the Apprentice Program, if I could work on the last show of the season even though I wasn’t scheduled for it. Sure enough, they had an opening with sound and I began working with them. I knew absolutely nothing about sound when I first started, but when the season was done I had somehow proved myself and was asked to come back for the winter show and the next summer season as the assistant sound designer. Even though I was no longer in the Apprentice Program I still learned a great deal just being around the Weathervane Company. I was a junior then, so college was one of the biggest concerns for me. Luckily, most of my fellow members were either in college or already graduated with loads of advice and suggestions.
During the past few years I figured out that my passion was stage managing. The summer after I graduated high school I was asked back to be the assistant stage manager. I learned not only things about stage managing, but things about myself and who I wanted to be when I entered college. Weathervane Playhouse does have their summer magic, but the real magic is in the people who work there and are eager to help you learn and succeed. I am currently following my passion at Webster University getting my B.F.A. in Stage Management. I would recommend the Apprentice Program to anyone slightly interested in going into theatre as a career. Even if you find out it’s not what you would like to do, you will still have a summer of magic you will never forget.
-Ariel Dickerson
Granville High School Class of 2016
Webster University Class of 2020