Theater folks dedicated for life

By Ryanne Belanger

You have to be willing to stretch boundaries and step out of yourself.

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to have a sex change? Well, this is exactly what Samantha Riley, a junior at FSU, had to do when contemplating her role in the play “’Dentity Crisis.” “When you are in a production, it takes over your life,” Riley says. “At first, you may only have rehearsal a few times a week, and then it’s rehearsal every night. It pretty much takes up all your time.”
Riley has been acting since she was in sixth grade when she played Goldilocks in the play “Hairem Scarem.” Even when not in a production, theatre is a part of her life. “It has helped me grow as a person; it stays with me.”

Her first major roles were here at Fitchburg State in fall 2009, when she played Johnna from “Naomi in the Living Room” and Woman from “‘Dentity Crisis” in the Falcon Players’ performance of one-act plays by Christopher Durang.

It has also helped her with her intended career in early childhood education. “I see how it affects my teaching because I am able to be more animated than some other teachers I’ve had,” says Riley.

Riley has some advice for anyone looking to break into the theatre scene. “Don’t take any criticism too personally.” 

It takes a special kind of person to be a theatre kid. “I think it has to do with your personality,” says Riley. “If you’re afraid of people, you can’t do theater. You have to be willing to stretch boundaries and to step out of yourself and know that people aren’t going to judge you. You are playing a character.”