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Exploring Theater at Carleton

Quinn writes about her return to the Theater!

Quinn writes about her return to the Theater!

If you’d told me before Carleton that I would make a return to theater, I think I would’ve laughed in your face. This is simply due to the fact that until last winter, my most recent acting credit was as an oompa-loompa in the 7th grade. Nothing quashes a passion quite like being dressed in suspenders with green hair in front of your middle school peers. I’m tempted to insert a photo here but I think I’ll spare us all. 

So how did I find myself back on the stage?

It’s kind of a funny story. At the end of fall 2022, I was wrapping up an Academic Civic Engagement class called Politics of Reproductive Justice. I was chatting with someone in class when she mentioned that she was putting on a play as part of her senior theater comps. She explained that the play told the story of a high school swimmer in Florida who finds herself pregnant and has to figure out her options for termination. I was instantly intrigued by the raw emotional story, as well as its topical relevance with the overturning of Roe v Wade. She encouraged me to audition, so I showed up to the Weitz to see what would happen. 

Script and rehearsal photo
Liv and Thea rehearse a scene

After a low-stress audition process I was fortunate enough to be cast as Reba in Olivia Patinkin’s comps production of Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel. We had a 5 person cast made up of all class years and a wide range of majors and minors. I think that really speaks to how accessible the arts are at Carleton. Even though we were balancing different and busy schedules with work and class, we were still able to devote time to pursuing art. I was the least experienced performer in the cast, but I was supported by both our student director and faculty advisor along the way. My friends were supportive of my new endeavor and took time to help me learn lines whenever we had time!

The process of taking a play from words on a page to an immersive theatrical experience is something that you can’t fully understand until you do it. I had no idea that it would be so demanding and so rewarding, and I had an easy job! I was consistently in awe of my peers who were navigating incredibly emotional and difficult topics with grace and compassion. 

Girl collapsed onstage in spotlight
Liv onstage during a performance. Photo by Lev Shuster

Putting the Art in Liberal Arts

Two girls discussing in a locker room
Liv and I in a locker room scene. Photo by Lev Shuster

I’m so grateful that I could have this opportunity to reignite an old passion, meet new friends, and learn more than I thought possible. The true gift of a liberal arts education is the ability to constantly explore and create. I encourage all of you to take advantage of the myriad opportunities that Carleton has to offer. Who knows, you just might find yourself in the spotlight!



Quinn (she/her/hers) has deep love of the Carleton community; she says she is so lucky to be surrounded by such brilliant and kind people. Quinn is an active member of student-run radio station KRLX, the orchestra, equestrian club, and the music department! Following her love of music and radio, her favorite place on campus is the record library. And finally, a fun fact about Quinn is that her family helped to found the Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade!