Theatre Geek of the Week is a new IU Theatre blog series where you can meet some of the wonderful students, faculty and supporters of IU’s Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance!
Geek of the Week: Kayla Cieslinski, IU Senior
What do you do at IU, and why do you do it?
I am a Theatre and Drama major at IU, with a concentration in Costuming and Stage Management. I’m doing this because I have the wonderful opportunity to pursue my passions and chase those dreams!
When did first you realize you were a theatre geek?
I took my first theatre class in the seventh grade. I was the youngest person in a class of high schoolers. I absolutely loved it! I had a great teacher who had a passion for teaching theatre. I’m so thankful for her (Shout-out to Kelly Rector!). One year I couldn’t fit a theatre class into my schedule, due to conflicts, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. From that point on I knew I needed theatre in my life.
What is your favorite thing about the theatre, and why?
There are so many things…theatre has been a way to connect people from different times, places and cultures. It has been a rich source of storytelling and community since the ancient Greeks. Theatre is also a place where your artistic ability shines; no matter your position, even an audience member, participating in theatre gives everyone a chance to exercise their creativity.
What is one project you’ve undertaken at IU that has taught you the most?
Every project teaches me something new, but my first costuming opportunity was for University Player’s The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein. I was asked to be the costume designer, and I had no idea what I was getting into. But while undertaking that, I learned a lot about the costuming process, budgeting, and it’s where I found my passion!
When no one is watching, what song do you love to dance or sing along with?
This will vary by the day. One day it’s Beethoven’s 7th, another it’s “Mr. Brightside,” and then sometimes it’s “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story!
Who in the theatre world inspires you, and why?
I tend to gather inspiration from anyone who is passionate about what they are doing. I love seeing people share their passion.
Do you have any words of advice for new theatre students?
If you immerse yourself in the theatre community, you will discover a plethora of opportunities. It may be something you would have never dreamed of doing, but whenever you are asked to do something, say yes! Say yes to working wardrobe for a show, say yes to painting a set, say yes to being an usher. Just. Say. Yes. When taking advantage of these opportunities you’ll meet all kinds of people and you may find something that you really enjoy! That’s how I realized I wanted to be a costume designer. I said yes to an opportunity, gave it my best, and learned I love it.
What is one exciting project you are currently working on, or have coming up?
Currently I am an Assistant Stage Manager for IU’s Peter and the Starcatcher, but keep an eye out for my costume designs in the Winter Dance Concert: Bodies of Light this February!
If YOU would like to be a Theatre Geek of the Week, we invite you to fill out our questionnaire (https://goo.gl/forms/bkJBWuR5KuHgV5yV2) to be considered. Come geek out with us!