School of Theatre Arts & Dance student Jackie Honold recently received a highly competitive internship for this summer with Seattle Children’s Theatre, one of the top children’s theatres in the country.  The following is an interview with Jackie about her experiences at UNC and with Theatre for Young Audiences.

1) What is your year in school and your major?

I’m a senior with a double major in theatre education and acting.  I’ll be graduating this December after student teaching. 

2) Where are you from originally, and what made you choose to study theatre at UNC?

I’m from Durango, Colorado, and I chose to study at UNC simply because of the excellence of its programs.  The theatre program as a whole is well known across the country for its excellence in pre-professional training for theatre artists.  In addition, I couldn’t ever decide if I wanted to do theatre or education, so when I decided to do both, UNC was the obvious choice.  The theatre education program here is incomparable. 

3) What have been some of your favorite moments of being in the Theatre department at UNC? What about the most challenging moments?

This semester, I have been directing the Theatre for Young Audiences tour, The Transition of Doodle Pequeño. This experience has been both incredibly challenging and equally rewarding.  I love the creative process of directing; it combines my artistic drive and my passion for working with people.  I have an absolutely incredible cast, management team, and design team that have been such an honor to work with and have taught me many things along the way!   In addition, I’ve been responsible for booking the shows for our tour (which begins this week). When I first started the process of calling schools and principals, I was incredibly intimidated.  Now, I am so proud of myself as I look back at all the work I have done! The entire process has pushed me further than I’ve ever been pushed, and I’m sure it will continue to do so.  I am so grateful for the experience. 

4) Can you tell me more about the details of the internship and the work you’ll be doing? What made you choose to be involved with children’s theatre in particular?

My official title is a “drama school intern.”  Seattle Children’s Theatre, as one of the top children’s theatres in the nation, runs an incredible drama school program over their summers.  Classes are offered for ages 4-21, with everything from acting to musical theatre to creative drama.  It’s a HUGE undertaking, and interns help support the teaching artists in teaching classes week to week.

I love children’s theatre (known in the biz as Theatre for Young Audiences, or TYA) because children are such a captivating audience.  With TYA, shows can be so much more imaginative and creative then your typical theatre productions.  For example, in The Transition of Doodle Pequeño, one of the characters is a sassy talking goat.  What could be more fun than that?!  In addition, children are the most honest audience members an artist could ask for. They don’t have the patience and training adults have in watching live theatre; if they don’t like the show or are bored, you will KNOW!  While that can be challenging at times, it holds every production accountable for the work being shown.  We don’t often give children enough credit for their growing minds. They are capable of seeing and processing so much more than this society often allows them to, and TYA is a way to give them new experiences. 

5) What are your plans after graduation? 

After student teaching, I plan to move to Seattle to continue my work as both an artist and an educator.  I’m not exactly sure what kind of work I’ll be doing, whether teaching or directing or acting, but I know I will be doing something with the theatre to help shape the world around me.  I believe theatre can be a catalyst for changing views, bringing issues to light, and starting discussions; it is therefore even more important to share it with the youth of our country.

You can see the result of Jackie’s work in The Transition of Doodle Pequeño, which will tour regional schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout April. The public performances are Saturday, April 9, at the Union Colony Civic Center. The bilingual play (in English and Spanish) tells the story of two boys who become friends despite their differences, and it investigates themes of identity, friendship, and acceptance.