A Career in Theater: Arif Silverman ’15

January 23, 2019

Jane Hobson ’22

portrait of Arif Silverman
Arif Silverman ’15
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Arif Silverman

Theater alumnus Arif Silverman ’15 just finished performing Ella Enchanted with Dobama Theatre in Cleveland. Now, he’s back home in New York City rehearsing for a production with Rebel Playhouse.

What did you focus on during your time at Oberlin?

I was a theater major at Oberlin, but I took a lot of courses in English, French, and  Classics as well. Outside the classroom, I tried to be involved in a production every semester, which was always a big project. I was also in an improv group called Primitive Streak, which is where I made some of the most important friendships in my time there.

Image of Arif Silverman performing on stage
Arif Silverman ’15 performs in Galahad and the Dragons, a solo play he wrote and was produced in New York City in August 2018.
Photo courtesy of Arif Silverman 

What do you do in addition to acting?

In addition to acting, I’m also developing careers in teaching and writing. Last year I taught music at a Montessori school and now do freelance work as a sub. I also write a lot of my own material through the lens of science fiction and fantasy. I’m currently at work on a children’s musical about three wolf cubs who are kicked out of their pack because they don’t eat meat.

What are the best things about your work?

I just enjoy being able to do what I love! Sharing my voice with my community, putting energy into saying something I care about in the way I want to say it; it’s exhilarating and terrifying. But it’s almost always rewarding, and even when things go wrong, being able to say that the experience happened means a lot.

It’s also really exciting to explore big questions I’m wrestling with. After the 2016 election, I wrote a play about a planet that serves as an interstellar camp for races from broken worlds. It was a healing experience to reflect on the state of our country in that way.

In the future, Silverman hopes to continue pursuing his career in the arts and to connect his work with the larger community. Learn more about Silverman on his website.

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