BA Theatre graduate Alicia Richardson, class of 2009, has recently been awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to study at York University in the fall. Richardson will be working toward an MFA in Acting with a Concurrent Voice Teacher Diploma, which will culminate in the performance of an original piece. Her current concept is a play called “Dirt,” which will explore the stigma surrounding various cultural perceptions of dark skin, or “black-ness.” The piece will be a series of vignettes of characters decribing some of these different cultural myths, and representing how they apply to cultural perceptions in the present day. Current MA Theatre Studies candidate Joshua Inocencio will be serving as dramaturg for the play.
Richardson was originally awakened to this idea when she was teaching abroad in South Korea in 2011. While she has always known she wanted to act and be part of the creative process, the teaching experience informed her career by showing her the potential greater expanse of her impact. She realized that in utilizing her craft to influence other people, she was able to…”not just entertain people, but to inform them and challenge them…to stir them, to plant a seed…”
She describes her experiences at FSU to heavily influence the foundation of her current path. She refers specifcally to working on the Social Issues Project with Director Allison Frost, during which she was first introduced to the idea of theatre as a tool for change. She also fondly remembers her experience with the London Theatre Experience, where she recalls seeing a lot of post-modern theatre, forcing her to become comfortable with the idea of theatre moving through time and space, not simply reading like a story. Most importantly, she was deeply influenced by the concept that identity is chosen, or performed, rather than innate. She traces this back to a class she took at FSU called “Disability and Representation,” taught by Dr. Carrie Sandahl.
All of these very dynamic experiences have shaped her future research and creations in a way that reflects highly on the School of Theatre.