Meriah Forbes Moore
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The Theater Department at Kansas Wesleyan University gave me a space to be adventurous, honest, vulnerable, curious, active, and challenged with real-world situations. The process of engagement with the literature, my colleagues, and my professor gave me a platform to experiment with the most fundamental of human emotions, motivations, and rationalizations.
I was involved in two regular productions and one student-directed project at Kansas Wesleyan. The first show, Metamorphosis, presented an active and dynamic set that required the actors to be comfortable with their body as a mode of communication. This was the first theater production that challenged me to explore mature topics of love, desire, faith, and forgiveness. I grew through this exploration as our learning moved from a “thought experiment” to a physical embodiment of human experience and emotion. The second production, Picnic, engaged a more subtle form of expression. This required each actor to uncover the numerous layers of motivation and intent that each character possessed. This process taught me how often we misinterpret the motivations of others due to over-simplification and prejudice. It is much more difficult to uncover the truth about a person, but it is only way we may ever be able to fully relate to those around us.
I am deeply grateful for the time I spent in the theater at Kansas Wesleyan. Where else can a student be confronted with problems outside of their scope of experience and physically create the solution in real-time? And once a potential solution has been created through this process of engagement, alternative variations and outcomes can be tested. I speak of this process much like one would conduct a research project in a laboratory science course. In retrospect, there are many parallels to the work I completed in theater to the work completed to earn my Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Chemistry. Now in my first year of medical school, I am beginning to understand that the line between science and art is blurry at best. I am certain that the interpersonal skills I explored in the theater at Kansas Wesleyan will support my efforts to relate to my patients and community in the future.