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University of Southern California: School of Dramatic Arts: Rickey Orr

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Theatre Rickey Orr

Rickey Orr is studying theatre at the University of Southern California's School of Dramatic Arts.

How did you discover your passion for theatre?

My mom is a theatre professor at Illinois State University. From a young age, I sat in on her classes and attended their mainstage productions. This sparked my interest and when I had my first opportunity to be in a show, The Wiz in fourth grade, I took it and fell in love with the art form.

What’s your favorite part about performing?

My favorite part about performing is when the final actor, the audience, arrives. Their presence changes the dynamic of your show, because it is finally complete. Listening to their thoughts and reactions is a fulfilling experience.

What’s the hardest part for you about performing?

The hardest part about performing is the transition from being in your head to connecting on stage. Once you have completed your character work, being present and genuinely having fun on stage is when the movement from portraying a character to being a person occurs.

Why did you pick this particular college?

I picked the University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts, because I wanted a well-rounded BA Theatre program that would expose me to the art form as a whole, while giving me the opportunity to double major in business and perform in multiple productions.

What has been your favorite part of thiscollege?

My favorite part is the community within the School of Dramatic Arts. Although I have only been here for two years, my classmates have become my support network and my best friends. They are individuals that I can depend on. They support my shows and are up for seeing professional theatre around Los Angeles. Additionally, being there for them is even more rewarding.

How do you think this program will help in what you want to do next?

Before college, I had never taken an acting class before. Led by the guidance of our faculty, this program has given me a strong foundation in the theatre. Learning that there is not a concrete way of approaching things, has led me to challenge the constructs within the theatre and rethink what is possible. My senior year, I will start applying to grad schools for a MFA in Theatre Management and I know that my training at USC has contributed to my growth as a theatre practitioner and prepared me for what is to come.

Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?

I see myself as an artistic director of a regional theatre company. I would revisit established musicals by restaging them with color-conscious casts and exploring the role that dance holds as a tool to drive narrative. I would also create original musicals with this framework in mind.