Name: Bridget Cook
Area of Study: Theatre Arts, Concentrating in Technical Theatre
Current City: Conshohocken PA
Graduation Date: May 2004
Current Occupation: Company Manager at Philadelphia Theatre Company
Why did you choose WCU and/or the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I wanted to be close to Philadelphia, a town so rich in professional theatre, but still have the "normal" college life. I wasn't interested in living in the city for school so West Chester was the perfect choice. There was a real sense of community at WCU that was so appealing.
What training or education did the Dept of Theatre and Dance provide for you that relates to your current occupation?
Everything!!! My area of focus when I arrived at WCU was so small, I wanted to be a stage manager and that is all I really knew. WCU really forced me to explore all areas of theatre from acting, dance, costume, lighting, etc. Everything I learned, I use on a daily basis. The art of theatre is such a collaboration and being able to speak about so many aspects of theatre makes you an invaluable member of the team and I am so thankful for all the things WCU taught me.
What is a typical day like for you?
On a typical day, I go to the office and work a "normal" day with weekends off except when we are in production. I can go from working a normal 40 hour week to going weeks without a day off and clocking 80 hours a week. I spend a lot of time in meetings and going back and forth between our offices and the theatre.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to enter your field?
Immerse yourself in every aspect of theatre. Learn as much as you can about all the different areas and positions. It will not only make you knowledgeable when speaking with your colleagues, but it will make you appreciate the hard work that every person in the business puts into their art. A position in arts administration works with every single department running a theatre company and the more you know, the better off you will be. But more than anything, the most important is to be a good person. Your reputation follows you every where in this business and your attitude is key.
What is your favorite memory of being a student at WCU and/or in the Department of Theatre and Dance?
I don't think I can pick a specific memory as there are too many to mention, but I think the thing that I cherish the most about WCU is the people I met. West Chester brought together some of the most wonderful friends I could have ever imagined having. Being a part of WCU theatre is being a part of a family. It has been almost ten years since graduation and some of my best friends and colleagues are the people I met at West Chester.