Oberlin Blogs

Oberlin is Only Magic

November 29, 2022

Kate Magnacca ’26

One of my biggest concerns coming to college was that I would have to compromise my artistic passions for my academic pursuits. I thought that being a psychology major would completely bar me from getting involved with the arts. Luckily for me, this notion turned out to be void.

Since the artistic opportunities here are so abundant, the first two weeks of classes also consisted of back-to-back auditions for me--I went to literally every single audition for anything performance-related. By the sixth rejection email, I was feeling pretty hopeless. I went into my last audition completely exhausted, with no expectations, and finally permitted myself to just have fun with the experience. Prior to this, I had been despairing over the situation with a friend from my theater back home. I remember her saying I just had to wait for the thing that was energetically right for me to come along. At the time I didn’t put much weight into it, because it felt like another attempt at consolation for the fact that I simply was not good enough. But as it turns out, she was right. That night I finally got an email with good news! 

The email was for a student-written musical called The World is Only Magic. I’m glad this show was the one to work out for so many reasons, among them being how cool and different it is to be in a totally student-run production. I’ve also never been in an original show, so this is definitely a new experience for me--but a very exciting one as well. As we approach tech week, here are some of my thoughts on the rehearsal process. 

Theater is magic. It’s why I love it so much, why I spend all of my free time in rehearsals. Part of that is the uniqueness of each rehearsal process. However, this show stands out from anything I’ve been a part of. For one thing, I don’t usually go in blind. I tend to do a truly insane amount of research beforehand. With an original, I couldn’t do that. The first read-through was unlike any I’d experienced, because it was everyone’s first time seeing the script (which is amazing, by the way). It added a lot of anticipation and fun to the whole night. Getting to be a part of bringing a show to life for the very first time is such a rare and exhilarating opportunity--and so very fitting with Oberlin’s intensely creative and collaborative atmosphere. 

I am also perpetually in awe of and inspired by my wonderful castmates and their exorbitant amounts of talent and drive. Everyone in the cast is so incredibly talented, funny, and kind. This group is truly something special, which has made the whole rehearsal process fly by. I can’t believe we’re only a week away from tech! I’m already anticipating a tough goodbye with this one. I’m certainly going to miss all the inside jokes, group chat memes, wild antics, and constant silliness.

I was so worried about whether I would get to keep doing theater here. But now I’m practicing art in totally new capacities I had never dreamed of before, that wouldn’t be possible anywhere else. I could not have asked for a better experience for my first college musical. I’m extremely excited for this show. It’s a huge relief to be around theater people again, and to be back doing something I love. It feels at once like returning home and embarking on a whole new adventure. 

P.S. If you’re on campus December 9-11, come see the show!!

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