Meet this year’s StuCo co-chairs

Rachel Davison, A&E Editor

Sam Douglas

Sam Douglas is a Communication senior from Nashville, Tennessee. This is his second year as a Student Theatre Coalition executive representative. He is not only a co-chair but is also a representative of his theatre board, Sit & Spin Productions.

Last year he sat on the StuCo executive board as the Associated Student Government senator to represent the organization and the student theater community to senate and the wider student body.

“I was interested in expanding a perspective of Northwestern of how students operate, because the theater community can seem pretty exclusive and internalized,” Douglas said. “I wanted to say, ‘Student theater’s not so exclusive as people think it is,’ and also to be able to broaden that audience base and participatory base.”

He became involved in the StuCo community his freshman year by joining Sit & Spin Productions as a freshman board representative, then served in different positions and is now the board’s executive director. The board produces “risk taking” theater.

“It has given me a newer perspective on what it means to be a theater artist and how art and theater are created at school here and also in the world,” Douglas said. “I am most passionate about work that can further people’s perceptions of what art can be.”

As StuCo Co-Chair, Douglas said he wants to give StuCo directors who are also theater majors academic credit outside of their show and make the student theater community feel better represented through StuCo, he said.

“As an actor, I had a very limited view of so many of the different things that go on in theater,” he said. “I’m interested in making sure that everybody in the student theater community feels accepted and important.”

Because the representatives on StuCo Exec change every year, it is rare to have someone who is spending a second year working on the board, said 2014-15 StuCo Co-Chair Olivia Probetts (Communication ’15).

“It’s really cool that we have someone that has been part of the conversations that we had last year and knows a lot of the long-term planning projects that we have going on,” Probetts said. “He really will help the StuCo community and StuCo Exec and enact positive change.”

Tristan Chiruvolu

Communication senior Tristan Chiruvolu came to last year’s StuCo Co-Chairs, Probetts and A.J. Roy (Communication ’15) about starting open forums for the theater community to discuss issues and topics like auditioning, directing and petitioning.

“He’s always just shown a great compassion and care for the StuCo community,” Probetts said.

Chiruvolu also started conversations and has seen what people have to say about “social politics” within the student theater community.

“The way StuCo is structured creates a lot of social hierarchy stuff, which we don’t like,” Chiruvolu said. “We’re focusing on ways to work around that.”

He wants to continue this dialogue and include the perspectives of those who are not members of theater boards.

“I was super interested in what they had to say,” Chiruvolu said. “A lot of these people I talked to weren’t on boards. Student theater works so closely, but it’s also so separate. It’s very trickled down and trickling up — it’s very hard to hear from people who aren’t on boards.

As StuCo co-chair, Chiruvolu wants to make sure students, especially freshmen, are aware of opportunities to get involved in student theater.

“We’ve done a good job showing all the ways to get involved and making sure people know what petitioning for a board means, and that they know they are so many other ways to get involved in theater,” he said. “I’m excited for the freshmen to get involved with the theater community.”

In his first year, Chiruvolu became a freshman board representative for WAVE Productions and is now the board’s university relations chair after acting as production manager last year.

“Being on WAVE opened my eyes to different types of theater,” he said. “It taught me a lot about ensemble collaboration and how amazing and important it is to work with a group of artists that you really trust.”

Throughout his time at NU, Chiruvolu has worked in StuCo productions outside of WAVE Productions in different capacities.

“He knows a lot of what’s going on so that places in him in a great position,” Probetts said.

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