Clarkie of the Week: 11/20


Photo: Celine Manneville

Photo: Celine Manneville
Photo: Celine Manneville

Julia Thibodeau is a senior from Casco Village, Maine double majoring in American History and Art History. She is the president of CUPS (Clark University Players’ Society) and has long been involved with many aspects of theatre.

Scarlet: So you are the president of CUPS; what does that entail?

Julia: So as president of CUPS, I work with the other E-board members to pick a show, find a director, and help the show get cast, and make sure everything goes okay. In the end, I end up producing the shows, so our job is just to make sure by the end you have a show ready for people to enjoy. It’s really exciting.

Scarlet: How do you pick the show?

Julia: This semester we worked with student-written shows, so at the end of last year, we sent out an email saying ‘anybody writing plays and want to try and see them produced, please send them to us’. Because I’m all about options, and it gives people at school options to see student written work, have students have their work out there, which I think is really a confidence booster before heading out into the real world. Picking shows is sometimes from show suggestions, like we’re doing TALK RADIO which our secretary, Jacob Gordon (’15) chose because he wanted to use that to help with his senior project for his theater major.

Scarlet: So what do you have to do as producer?

Julia: It’s not a bad thing, but a lot of people don’t understand how much work goes into shows, they just see the end result, so it starts out with picking a production team. So you have props, costume, set, lighting, technical director, and then after you find that, you’re able to gain actors and directors and as the actors and directors are working on the show, the production team is working on it, so by the end of it, you have a set and props ready to go so you can run dress rehearsals. It also has to do with marketing, so any time you see us tabling to a crowd of people, it includes the coordination of that and posters and things like that, and just getting it out at the right time so enough people know about it. It’s a lot, I don’t think I even fully understand everything.

Scarlet: I’ve also heard that you do props.

Julia: Yeah, I started out doing props before I was on the E-board of CUPS. I did that sophomore year, and I’m now doing props for Cabaret which is happening this weekend, and so that’s exciting. I’ve been working with CMT as well. We try to work together on things.

Scarlet: CUPS and CMT?

Julia: Yeah, this year we’re trying to be a more cohesive unit because we utilize a lot of the same people, which many people will notice, so we’re just trying to make it easier for everyone. Like, having shows at different times so nobody’s burnt out or anything. We just want to make the process easier for everyone to enjoy.

Scarlet: That makes a lot of sense. Have you been involved in theatre for a long time?

Julia: Yeah, I did theatre in high school but I acted in high school, so I was in musicals and I also stage managed two productions, but that’s very different than stage managing a college production.

Scarlet: How so?

Julia: It [stage managing a college production] is just so much more work. Because in high school, you also have your drama teacher looking out for everyone, so you were there to read lines and help with lines. But in college, it’s keeping track of the actors, making sure they are off book, making sure they show up to rehearsal and if they’re not at rehearsal, then tell you why. I have so much respect for the stage managers. Oh, I couldn’t do it.

Scarlet: Do you want to do more acting?

Julia: I was actually in The Man Who Came To Dinner, which was last semester. I was just trying to put my foot in there, because my parents were like ‘We want to see you act!’ and they came and my grandmother came too; she enjoyed it, she was laughing the whole time. And I was thinking about it [doing more acting] but with the next show that we’re doing, and also I was going to help with the spring show for CMT. I just don’t know if it’s possible. I just don’t want to burn myself out in my last semester. So I figured just sticking to producing and props should be enough; it’s a lot, but it’s fun.

Scarlet: Do you have any fun hobbies?

Julia: I like to knit and crochet a lot. I always have these big aspirations to make something for each of my family members every Christmas, but I never have time. Or I make mittens for everyone and they’re like ‘This is the third pair of mittens we’ve gotten, Julia’. And I’m like, ‘Well, they break all the time, so…’ I also volunteer at the library at home, at the circulation desk. There isn’t much to do in my town, so I was like, might as well! It’s fun, I really like the people.

Scarlet: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Julia: Definitely look forward to Talk Radio, which will be showing in February. And see Cabaret this weekend!


Thanks for the interview, Julia!