Southern Utah University’s student-led theatre company, Second Studio, typically selects their board of directors during the spring semester prior to the year that board will serve, but this year has been a notable exception. Two new board members were recently added to fill roles that either became vacant over the summer or will become vacant after the fall semester.
Second Studio’s artistic director, Hannah Luther, signed on for a full academic year on the board, but due to unforeseen circumstances, she will be graduating a semester early, leaving one of the company’s most vital roles vacant. SUU theatre education major Dean Rice has been selected to co-artistic direct throughout the fall semester before taking over the position full time in the spring.
“The only way to get qualified is to actually do it,” said Rice, “so I took a chance and got it, and now I get to do the thing that I love full time.” Rice applied for the position and underwent an interview process with Luther and Second Studio’s managing director before their interview was shared with the rest of the board for the selection process.
Another position that was recently filled is that of co-production manager. After one of the two previous co-production managers had to drop from the board, their partner, Ro Christansen, was left to production manage by themself. Senior Isabelle Packham has joined the board to fill the vacancy.
“I haven’t dug my hands into passion projects like I feel like I should have, and the Second Studio board was something that I’m passionate about,” said Packham. “I’m passionate about creating new works of theatre for students, and to help facilitate that is rewarding.”
Packham will be overseeing Second Studio’s production of “Cyrano de Bergerac” later this fall, as well as one of the spring shows.
Second Studio’s vision for their 2023-24 season is to foster collaboration, and the newest additions to the board will assist in that mission in a way that encourages learning.
“Second Studio is, at its core, an educational tool, and I think we take ourselves really seriously as theatre artists,” said Rice. “Second Studio is the place that we can go in and fail a lot. And that’s totally fine because there’s no pressure.”
Story by: Tessa Cheshire
Photos courtesy of Second Studio