Ithaca Theatre: What do you like about Ithaca College Theatre?
Amy Cohen: It's really hands on. As a TAM, I get to see my creative ideas executed;
the family and support group you have, feeling like you have the inside scoop on something that is well
respected and patronized by the Ithaca community.
IT: What are some impressions you have of Ithaca College Theatre?
AC: My first impression was that it was a very tight knit community that I really
wanted to be a part of. It is clear from the start that there are a lot of brilliant and creative
minds, and it is intimidating at first. While at first I really felt like an outsider because I
transferred into the department, I learned that I wasn't being excluded intentionally, but rather I had
to advocate for myself and be social - and once I was, I felt like I was a part of the team.
IT: What has been your favorite Ithaca College production?
AC: "Seussical the Musical".
IT: What do you love about living in Ithaca?
AC: Greenstar (the local food coop) the beautiful parks and nature, Wegmans
supermarket, Jason's frozen yogurt in college town, all the brilliant people that IC and Cornell bring
to the area, how open minded it is, the beautiful fall foliage, the community in general, oh Ithaca is
IT: What do you know about our guest artist series?
AC: I know that the IC Theatre Department has a small budget to bring in guest
artists. My impression is that it rarely brings in artists who perform, but usually brings speakers or
people who lead workshops who (aim to) enlighten and inspire us. But if there is some other guest
artist thing that is news to me.
IT: What guest artist would you like to see Ithaca bring in?
AC: I would love to have a performance by one of IC's notable alumni - you don't hear
enough about the awesome things the IC Theatre alumni are doing. Even though I'm a management
major I would love to hear some professional musical theater voices! Also, branching out into
other art forms that collaborate with theater - circus, dance, puppetry, mime - we need to show the
department how genres interact and how we can't be so closed minded and focused on THEATRE, everything
in the real world is connected!
IT: What kind of special programs do you think the department should offer? (ie. tips
on finding apartments, resume help, audition tips, etc.)
AC: The department should teach each major about the wonderful ways that each major
contributes to the department- not through a tough class but by allowing them to trade places for a day
or something like that. Mock interviews and resume help are available already through career
services; maybe the department should draw attention to that, or make sure the staff there knows about
the theatre world. We need to branch out, be open minded, and collaborate with the brilliant and
creative resources we have on our own campus and beyond, from the Communications school to Cornell, to
the Ithaca Community.
IT: What is your favorite spot around Ithaca?
AC: I love the swings at upper Buttermilk falls, the candy section of Wegmans, and
wandering around the commons.
IT: Do you ever go to see performances offered around the community?
AC: Of course! IC's music department has up to 8 performances a day, and not
enough theatre kids take advantage of them. Cornell has so many great opportunities, from student
run theater to big names like Ben Folds. The State Theater always has some great acts and the
Hangar Theater has a great summer season. The Kitchen Theater always has intriguing
shows. Also, small music venues and coffee shops have great music. Plus you can always find some
buskers at the farmers market!
IT: Are you a member of any clubs or sports teams or participate in any
AC: I started and run ICircus, IC's circus arts club so that takes up a lot of my
time, and I try to reach out to the theatre community through circus because I think the skills are
really beneficial to them. ICircus also gets me involved with many other organizations and community
service groups. I was also in the Tap club and am involved with Hillel. As a Presidents Host
I give tours and run open houses- great opportunities to talk about how much I love Ithaca. At
Cornell I am the make up artist for the Melodramatics and work with the Cornell Juggling club.
IT: How do you avoid the drama inherently prevalent in the department?
AC: I haven't been involved with the drama much because my main group of friends are
not in the theatre department. I love the creative energy from the theatre people and have many
close friends, but I don't eat sleep and breathe with them every moment like most of them do.
From the moment you step into Dillingham center you are handed a bunch of people who are expected to be
your friends. I think it's really important that you branch out and find other people with other
interests to hang out with and share the college experience with. It can be suffocating to be in
the same environment with people who you are academically and performance wise competing with,
especially for the BFA students. So my advice is to love and enjoy the theatre people, but make
sure you have an escape and allow yourself room to develop as an individual by making time and space
for new people and experiences, and also time to just be by yourself and do new and different things.
IT: What do you do to relax from the stress of classes?
AC: Usually I stretch or go for a run if it is nice out and just spend time in nature
at the parks or on campus. I also like to go to the supermarket and look at all the exciting
food! I try to avoid the stress by making sure all my days are balanced and have elements of
things that I love to do, even if I have a lot of work looming. Make sure you have someone in
Ithaca that you can talk to, an advisor, professor, etc. Also, sleep enough at night, and eat
IT: What are some of your hobbies?
AC: Circus Arts (a little more than a hobby, more of an infatuation), sewing and
creating, cooking, tree climbing, enjoying good company, and doing handstands around the world.
IT: Is there a little known fact about the department that you'd like to clue us in
AC: Well, there are lot's of really cool archives in the TAM room that the department
should do something with. It’s well known, but we must combat the segregation that happens
between majors and eliminate any hierarchy - amongst the students, staff, professors, and
administrators in the department. We all need to work together for the department to run smoothly and
often certain aspects of the process get overlooked!
IT: How do you balance your theatre life with life outside of the department?
AC: I let the things that happen in the department inspire other aspects of my life
and visa versa. I take what I learn about theatre and apply it to the world of Circus arts.
Having friends in other majors and with other interests keeps me alert about what else is going on on
campus and through other organizations. As a tour guide I am always learning new things about the
school and the area and wanting to explore them. I love the theatre department, but it does not
define Ithaca College for me. For me being at Ithaca is about the community at large, the whole campus
not just the theatre building, and meeting people with diverse interests; that's what keeps me inspired
and interested. I am a fan of mixture and collaboration - this necessitates thinking outside the
box and diving into all different territories and experiences. Then I can contribute to the theatre
department in a more worldly and open-minded capacity.
IT: Sing me a line from your favorite musical.
AC: "Friday night down on Houston, at a spot called Bamboo Jack's, everyone was doing
the mambo, drinking golden Cadillacs." From the brilliant musical See What I Wanna See by
Michael John LaChiusa.