Theatre & Sustainability Converge
“People have always said the education here is what you make of it. It really clicked with me at some point what that means and that it’s not a bad thing,” says Senior Lisa Much. From the moment Lisa reached this realization, she’s been actively combining her interests in theatre and sustainability to enrich and enliven the GMC community.
It all started when Much got acquainted with an environmentally-conscious college that came to visit her high school in Machesney Park, Illinois. She realized that the sustainability theme was something she wanted to explore, but outside of the Midwest landscape she had called home for all her life. Green Mountain College, and its welcome change of scenery, seemed to fit the bill.
During her visit at an open house event, one of the things that sold Lisa was the air of sincerity communicated by the GMC faculty and students. “It was their honesty that really stuck with me,” she noted. It was being able to sit down and have lunch with her future professors that reassured Lisa that she could work collaboratively with them to create the sort of education was best suited for her.
Through the Progressive Program, Lisa has been pursuing a self-designed degree in Sustainable Theatre Management. Throughout her college career, Lisa has continued to make the theatre department better in a number of ways ranging from tech work, set design, directing, acting, and everything in between. Last year, she created and produced the very successful Poe Haunt on campus, which roped in over 100 students during a prospective student open house.
Lisa is not just a creator, but an always-willing participant as well. She’s had a hand in essentially every production since her arrival on campus. She was the assistant director for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and directed the short play “Such Things Only Happen In Books” last semester. In an independent study, she initiated a project titled “Green Theatre” that aimed to make the theatre more sustainable by making simple changes like replacing the light bulbs for the stage lights and recycling programs.
Last summer, Lisa kept the ball rolling by interning at the Lost Nation Theatre in Montpelier. Doing theatre outside of GMC reminded Lisa that being involved with GMC’s small-scale theatre department gave her the chance to hone a variety of skills. “GMC is an experience school—you do a lot of learning outside of the classroom,” says Much, reflecting on her internship.
In addition to her theatre-related contributions, Lisa serves as secretary of Student Senate and works as a stage manager for the theatre department and as a library assistant. When you add it all together, Lisa varied background leaves her well-equipped to pursue a career after graduating next spring. For her, moving out into the real world means practically applying her knowledge of how to expand a theatre creatively and sustainably. If her time at GMC is any testament to her ability to do so, Lisa ought to manage just fine out in “the real world”.
By Chad Skiles ‘12