Sylvia at Theatre TCU (Sylvia)


As a child, I spent my days engaged in creative pursuits, painting on butcher paper in the backyard, creating plays with the little puppet theatre my father built, and writing little poems in now long-lost journals. I often compare my mother to Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus series— she never allowed us to be bored, and we bounced between the art museums and the Museum of Natural Science, always intellectually and creatively engaged. I read voraciously, precociously, and I never went anywhere without a book in my hand. I also loved to perform, even as a child: my family's favorite story about me is one year, during a Christmas party, someone handed me the karaoke mic, and I sang every Christmas song I knew, dodging anyone who tried to take the mic back. I was only five.

The theatre bug continued into middle school— I started taking dance lessons and acting in community theatre musicals. I loved everything about it, from the long days of rehearsal, to the costumes and harsh lights of performance. When I graduated and attended The Kinkaid Upper School, I joined the Dance Company and began to dance ballet, jazz, and lyrical in earnest. For a while, I felt like dance was my calling, but my love for musical theatre kept me in the theatre world. When I was a sophomore, I was diagnosed with Hodgekin's Lymphoma and underwent four months of chemotherapy. It was the darkest time in my life, but despite my illness, I still managed to perform in the dance show that year. My cancer taught me how quickly life can change, and I vowed from then on to take chances and not let fear hold me back.

My senior year, I auditioned for my first play, Bus Stop, and I landed the role of Cherie, a down on her luck cabaret dancer kidnapped by a lusty cowboy. Performing in that show, along with performing in every annual musical and all the dance shows, made me realize that I couldn't give up the theatre. To do so would fundamentally change myself, so I declared a double major in theatre and English when I arrived at TCU. I've struggled with depression, anxiety, and my sexuality during my college experience, but throughout my inner conflicts, theatre acted as a soothing balm. For a few hours every night, I could lose myself in rehearsal and focus on creating something bigger than myself. While I love performing, I discovered that I love the rich history of theatre even more, and choreographing Pippin and directing a staged reading (Wine About It), a political play called No Limits, and a fun little scene (The FQ) lead me to realize that I love working on the production side of a theatre piece as well.