Maggie Cammaroto (COL '22), one of the cast members of our winter co-production Speech & Debate with the Theater & Performance Studies Program, shared her experiences of working on this process and about the world happening behind the very curtain of the performances!
The theatre community celebrated Speech & Debate’s closing two weeks ago. As a member of the cast, I not only said goodbye to performing with the legend herself Cristin Crowley (but the plot continues...come see nomadicTheatre's spring production of Quake), I also don’t get to see two of my best friends everyday anymore. Maddie Warner, Nia Jordan, and I made up Speech & Debate’s ensemble. We each played one of the parents but also an assortment of other characters, from an interpretive dance representation of a Grindr chat to a voice that blurts bathing suit area jokes. Because our characters were rather minor compared to the full-on, full-nude roles of Howie, Diwata, and Solomon, we spent a lot of time backstage. I loved our time back there for many a reason. For one, I got all my homework done. Great success. But more importantly, I got to know my fellow ensemble members very well. We shared memes and cute dog videos c o n s t a n t l y. Nia got me to maybe/probably join her service fraternity next semester. Maddie took me on as her assistant for stage designing Mask & Bauble's spring musical Hello, Again (come see that, too). I got to sit Nia’s boyfriend down and ask him what his intentions were with my daughter. We dubbed ourselves first the Blue Man Group, then the Powerpuff Girls (I’m Buttercup, obviously), and finally “squad & fam”, the current name of our group chat. We got so close, we were practically a single person. During transitions, we were told to move as a unit to shift set pieces. When we first tried this two months ago, we wondered how this was ever going to look good. But by tech, we could sense each other’s vibrations and moved perfectly in sync. People kept asking me “HOW DO YOU MOVE SO IN SYNC?!” and I always said “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell” because that’s important but then I told them that friendship is a hell of a thing.
I loved working with every person in the Speech & Debate process, but my Blue Men will always have a special place in my heart. I never would have guessed that by the end of this show I would miss these girls as much as I do. We’re an unlikely bunch, but for some reason we work, like the Breakfast Club! It goes to show that not being in the spotlight all the time is really a blessing. It gives you the opportunity to make priceless friendships like no other. And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.