Theatre Geek of the Week: Sam Sanderson

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!

Meet Sam Sanderson!

1. What do you do at IU, and why do you do it?

I am a BFA Musical Theatre major at Indiana University. I am studying this because I love musical theatre! I couldn’t see myself doing anything else to be honest!

2. When did first you realize you were a theatre geek?

I’ve been a theatre geek practically since the womb! I grew up with musicals playing in the house and with my family taking me to live productions – those outings always stuck with me! I guess I first knew I was a theatre geek when I kept on performing and obsessing over different cast albums while my siblings found different interests.

3. What is your favorite thing about the theatre, and why?

I love the chemistry between an audience and the action onstage. That’s what separates our medium from all others – what’s happening onstage is happening to the players and viewers in the moment, and no one can hide from that spark. It’s all live, and anything can happen!

4. What is one project you’ve undertaken at IU that has taught you the most?

I’d like to think that the project that teaches me the most hasn’t happened yet! I will say that all three of the main stage musicals I’ve been involved with have each taught very valuable lessons about character development, rehearsal etiquette, and how to balance schoolwork and rehearsal preparation! I should also mention that being in the ensemble of The Drowsy Chaperone really reminded me to stay focused and to remain open and flexible to changes!


Sam Sanderson as Mr. McQueen in Urinetown.

5. When no one is watching, what song do you love to dance or sing along with?

“Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again” as sung by Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. I want that song played at my wedding.

6. Who in the theatre world inspires you, and why?

Joel Grey, Christopher Gurr, and Laura Benanti. Joel Grey is someone who I feel similar to artistically, Christopher Gurr is a character actor with a fabulous work ethic and is very comfortable with himself and his journey (not to mention the fact that he is a total sweetheart), and Laura Benanti just has the greatest sense of humor I’ve ever seen in another actor.


Sam Sanderson and friends performing “Willkommen” from Cabaret in Ladek-Zdroj, Poland.

7. Do you have any words of advice for new theatre students?

You can really do anything you want here. These are your own four years, and you don’t want to look back with a woulda-coulda-shoulda attitude. You wanna sing? Sing! You wanna design? Fabulous. There are plenty of students, faculty, and other resources around who will be able and willing to help you!

8. What is one exciting project you are currently working on, or have coming up?

I recently closed Urinetown on the main stage! This November/December I’ll be working in Front Page Flo at the BPP! I’ve never been in a new work before, so I’m excited to get to explore something brand new. Plus, this musical will be a very fun way to close out the semester!

If YOU would like to be considered for Theatre Geek of the Week, we invite you to fill out our questionnaire (

Come geek out with us!

About IU Theatre Department

Welcome to the 7th & Jordan blog. This blog is a peek behind the curtain at the productions and people at Indiana University's Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance.
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