Aspiring teacher Yulissa Hidalgo has already taught Bucknellians some very powerful lessons through her work in the theatre. She has used her passion for directing to educate our campus community on prevalent social justice issues, and there’s no doubt she will continue to inspire others long after graduation.
Tell us a little about your creative process.
My creative process is always focused on a social justice issue. My process begins with a freewrite session which is then followed by research. The social justice categories I tend to focus on deal with socioeconomic status, race, and gender. I feel a connection with these issues because I am a Latina and I am from an urban, lower class upbringing. Throughout my Bucknell career, the two experiences that have had the most impact on my creative process have been Common Ground and the Bucknell Brigade.
Last semester, you directed the very powerful “For Colored Girls…” What inspired you to take on this project? To be completely honest, last spring semester I was just offered the opportunity to direct For Colored Girls. It was not even on my radar, nor was it the showcase I had proposed to direct. One day the president of Essential, Nadia Sasso '11, approached me and asked me if I had read the play. I had not, but the moment I started reading it I could not put it down. I loved that it was such an ambitious piece that took on various controversial issues with great courage. I decided to modernize the piece in some way that would make it somewhat comprehendible to a Bucknellian audience. We used music that was from the 90s or that is fairly current, we chose costumes that allowed for fast paced movement, and we had a multicultural cast.
What is it about directing that keeps you coming back? The thing about directing that keeps me coming back is having the power to create a connection between people. I am all about relationships and collaboration. Honestly, where would anyone be without learning from other people? It is an indescribable feeling to have a vision of what you want to tell audience members, and then trust that through a process your team will surpass your expectations. It is about learning how to master the art of making people work well together and teaching them about something... let's say poverty. For this year's showcase, I was at a loss for words when my cast bowed after their opening night performance. Directing is a beautiful and unpredictable experience.
Who and what has inspired you to be part of the theatre? The people that have most inspired me to be a part of theatre have been my mom and retired acting Professor Bob Gainer.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In five years, I would like to be teaching English and Theatre in New York City.
Class taken at Bucknell: Race, Language, and Literature which was taught by both Professor Lavine from Linguistics and Professor James Peterson. Spot on campus: 7th St Cafe. Favorite meal at Bucknell: the almond crusted chicken, which has been served at fancy RA dinners. Favorite freeze flavor: Snickers.
A few random facts: I am a chocoholic, only milk and white though. I am still afraid of the dark. I am obsessed with star gazing and star shaped post its.
Cameron is a senior at Bucknell University pursuing degrees in English and Theatre. Born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, she is a member of Delta Gamma sorority and recently spent a semester abroad in London (tea and scones galore!). Her favorite things include (but are not limited to) anything with the word "coffee" in it, her two shih tzus, peppermint gum, reality tv, and spending time with family and friends. She also enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, dancing, staying active, and singing. Her claim to fame? She was a street shoutout on the show "Cash Cab".