Kate Sidley '04
Co-Founder Sea Tea Improv
Adjunct theatre professor CUNY College of Staten Island and Tunxis Community College
If you are attending graduate school, please provide that information including your major.
I have an MA in Theatre History and Criticism from CUNY Brooklyn College and am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Theatre at CUNY Graduate Center.
Briefly describe your current job responsibilities.
As a theatre practitioner and scholar, I have a wide range of jobs! I spend most of my nights and weekends performing, writing, and teaching comedy in CT and NY with my company Sea Tea Improv and independently. By day, I teach undergraduate theatre and am working towards my Ph.D. in Theatre.
While a student at BW, what experiences outside the classroom did you participate in (on or off campus)?
I lived in Living-Learning Community housing my first and second years and was a co-founder of the Arts House (now the Fine Arts Community) at 372 Front Street my junior year. I spent my summers interning at places such as the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. I was also an active member of TAP and served as vice president my senior year. I assistant directed for Mitchell Fields my senior year and did any optional theatre activity I could like costuming designing and directing for the student one acts and changing light gels for dance concert. BW offered me plenty of opportunities to get involved and gain valuable professional training.
Who was your faculty mentor in the department and how did this professor help you while you were a student and afterwards?
Charlotte Yetman was my faculty advisor and has had an enormous impact on my career. Charlotte was a tough and wonderful teacher—I use what I learned from her while teaching my own classes today. Since I also worked in the costume shop under the direction of my sister and former shop manager Diana Spring Sidley, Charlotte and I have stayed in touch and she continues to be interested in and supportive of my theatre career. As an adviser and professor Charlotte was demanding and always expected us to try our best, even if it meant we overshot our abilities and failed. I was incredibly lucky to have a professor like Charlotte pushing me, challenging me, and believing in me.
What makes the BWU Theatre and Dance department special?
BWU offers opportunities to work closely with active theatre professionals and puts students into a network that connects them to alumni long after graduation. Being in NYC, I frequently see and hear about other BW grads. The school has a reputation for excellence in the arts that extends beyond Ohio.
What advice would you give to a prospective student interested in theatre or dance?
Say yes to every opportunity that presents itself. College is one of the rare places in life where you will be supported even through your failures, so take advantage of that and test your artistic limits.
How did BW prepare you for graduate school/employment?
I worked in professional theatre and then as a Peace Corps volunteer for several years before returning to school to pursue my MA and Ph.D. in Theatre. BW gave me the connections and qualifications needed to get jobs in theatre right after graduation and gave me the confidence and academic discipline needed to succeed both in the Peace Corps and graduate school.