Molly O’Connor

Major: Theatre with a concentration in stage management and Public Relations
Hometown: Levittown, PA

Q. What makes the College of Arts and Sciences at URI unique?
A. The faculty and staff are the most unique part of the College of Arts and Sciences at URI. They are the most dedicated and invested professionals I have ever met. My experiences within my programs have been challenging at times but I have always felt the support of my professors and advisors. My theatre advisor, Professor Paula McGlasson, has offered me many opportunities to work in different management positions in the department. She is always there to answer any questions I have and to encourage me through different obstacles. Professor Regina Bell, my public relations (PR) advisor, is constantly providing internship opportunities and creating networking chances inside and out of the classroom. I believe my undergraduate experience would have been much harder without all of the help I have received from the people in these departments.

What accomplishments and/or activities at URI are you most proud of now?
I am most proud of the theatre awards I have received, including the Thomas R. Pezzullo Scholarship Endowment and the Department of Theatre Scholarship Endowment. I also take pride in the work I do as the manager of the URI Theatre Box Office. I have always loved theatre so being recognized for my work with an award or with a leadership position is incredibly fulfilling and encourages me to work harder.

What research projects, internships, experiential learning, and/or study abroad programs did you participate in at URI?
As a BFA student a majority of our coursework is experiential. I have worked on a run crew and a costume crew. I have also worked as an assistant stage manager, a house manager, a production manager and a stage manager. In PR I have also had opportunities for experiential learning. In one of my sophomore year classes we had the opportunity to do advertising for the South County Domestic Violence Resource Center. All of these experiences have been great opportunities for me to work in an environment that is higher stakes and results in real events. They have also allowed me to improve my communication and other skills that will be imperative for my future career.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?
I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have had to learn about so many different topics. Both of my majors emphasized the importance of studying all aspects of a subject before you can focus on your specific concentration. This method allows you to gain a better understanding of what your colleagues responsibilities might be and that allows you to have a greater respect for the work that they do. I also believe my liberal arts education has encouraged me to practice creative thinking. I have always been asked to test my boundaries at URI and I believe that has allowed me to achieve things I couldn’t have imagined.

What have been some highlights of your time in the Theatre department? How did you come to specialize in Stage Management? And what have been some of your highlights in PR?
My highlight in the theatre department was stage managing Clue last semester. This was the first live show I have stage managed and although it was challenging I really enjoyed the experience. It was something I have waited for since I was a freshman and I thought it was pretty successful. I decided to specialize in Stage Management because I love being a part of every step in the process of creating a show. I also love working with the director, designers and actors and seeing all of the incredible work they do. My highlight from PR would definitely be my internship with The Players at Barker Playhouse. This experience has been a lot of fun and has taught me about working in a professional theatre.

What’s next for you?
I am currently applying for MFA programs in theatre management.