Class of 2020: Theatre major finds vision and voice through collaboration, community

Stephanie Perez-Telon

Class of 2020: Theatre major finds vision and voice through collaboration, community

Stephanie Perez-Telon

What is your major, and where is your hometown?

My major is theatre with a double minor on French and Psychology. I had two hometowns which are San Juan, Puerto Rico which is where I was born and resided for 13 years, and Buford, Georgia which is the place where I finally felt like I found a home when I moved to Georgia.

What inspired you to become a theatre major?

I started theatre in my sophomore year of high school and I really just fell in love with it, but I think what really drew me to becoming a theatre major was auditioning for the new student scholarship theatre audition at Georgia College. When I auditioned three years ago, I wasn't expecting to get anything because I really didn’t believe that I had what it took to do anything with theatre after high school, so I was just auditioning for fun, which is why I was so shocked when I received an email from Dr. Karen Berman, our theater department chair, a few days later, telling me that she would love to work with me and offering me a theatre scholarship. I stood stunned for a few minutes, just staring at her email because I couldn't quite believe that a complete stranger who watched me perform for about a minute at an audition with so many talented people, saw in me a potential that I didn’t even see in myself. It made me want to take a chance to try out the theatre major and I am glad I did.

Perez-Telon in "Looking Through the Lens: Immigrants and Their Stories"
Perez-Telon in "Looking Through the Lens: Immigrants and Their Stories"

What skills do you feel like you’ve honed during your time as a theatre major that will help you in other areas of life?

My theatre major has helped honed my artistic skills. I feel like I have grown so much as an artist thanks to our amazing theatre department. Other important skills that I feel like I've honed during my time as a theatre major are my communication and collaboration skills. I am a highly introverted person, so I often had trouble speaking up my mind and communicating well with others. Working on multiple productions and collaborating with so many different people has taught me to speak up for myself and not be afraid to share my ideas and adapt to different situations.

What has been your experience with Alpha Psi Omega, the national honors society for collegiate theatre?

In the short time that I have been part of APO, it has been great being able to support our wonderful theatre community and have a family that truly encourages you and supports your work.

Can you tell us about your involvement with Academic Outreach?

I was honored to be part of this amazing education program that teaches science to pre-k through high school students through fun, engaging activities. The program is facilitated by GC students and it does after school programs, classroom visitations, and fun field trips. My role in Academic Outreach was to organize and prepare materials for the program, assist the instructor and sometimes I even got to teach science to the students. So, it was a really fun and rewarding experience.

You’re also a Student Ambassador. Can you tell us more about this experience?

My favorite part of being an Ambassador was working on tour and getting to talk with potential students and their parents.

Perez-Telon, right, in "The Nutcracker." This image was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Perez-Telon, right, in "The Nutcracker." This image was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.

When you think back on your time here at GC, what are some of the lessons you have learned along the way, and what advice would you impart to our incoming freshmen?

Some of my best experiences that I have during my time at GC were the ones that involved me getting out of my comfort zone. So, the best advice that I can offer to the underclassmen is: don't be afraid to try new things, even if they're out of your comfort zone because seeking new experiences that makes you uncomfortable is the only way you can evolve and grow as a student and as a person.

Do you have a favorite professor, and a favorite course you’ve taken at GC?

My favorite professor is Dr. Amy Pinney. I took acting III, directing and solo performance courses with her and those were some of my favorites courses. She is actually, currently, my capstone mentor.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

Outside of Russell Auditorium. If you stand in the middle of the front of Russell Auditorium and talk, your voice echoes, and I just love that.

What are your plans after graduation in December?

I want to become a drama therapist as well as a playwright, so my plan upon graduation is working to pay my way to grad school.