Class of 2006

Photo of Chess Schmidt

Chess Schmidt

Campus librarian at ECPI University, Columbia SC

“This is a difficult question to answer as my experience with the theatre department, the building, the students, the experiences have shaped so many different parts of my life. I learned to be diligent worker and how to plan out large projects from my time working as a student worker for the scene shop (which I did from the first day to near the end of my program). I spent a many fond moments exploring the curiosities and inspirations from old set pieces or mementos throughout the building (especially when I needed to find something to sketch for scene deign)! I know that my time working with Mickie taught me to treat all people with the dignity and respect they deserve. I still use improv techniques and acting games as new ways to teach fellow librarians and instructors. Going on the study abroad trip let me be fiercely independent at a time when I needed it most. I gained the closest group of friends I will ever have and we meet each year for New Years. I got to be part of a family of creative artists and act in plays that I’m still proud of today. Most importantly, I learned to be comfortable in my own skin.”

“My favorite personal memory comes from a late night working on a costume design project. I walked up to Nick Foster (since he was the only other gay person in the department at the time) and said, “so… I’m gay.” He was the first person I said those words outloud to. His response? “Duh!” And then we talked some more and worked on our projects and listened to music. This seems like a muted memory compared to some of the stories from the shows I was part of or even espresso during theatre darts, but it shines brightest for me. I was welcomed with little drama and much love at the time when I needed it most.”

Photo of Jeb Casey

Jeb Casey

“I teach and run a Theater department at Helena High School in Helena, AL”

“It taught me how to tinker in the depths of tech and think for myself so I could further my own knowledge of what I don’t know.”

Favorite memories in The Playhouse? “Long nights designing and fun mornings darting.”