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Campus Celebrity: Robbie Sellers ’14

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kenyon chapter.

This week, HCK had the pleasure of interviewing Robbie Sellers, who recently directed Kenyon’s production of Little Shop of Horrors!

Name: Robbie SellersYear: Class of 2014Major: NeuroscienceCampus Activities: “Theatre (duh), Neuro Club, research, and Unity House”

HCK: What was your favorite thing about directing Little Shop?Robbie: The cast has been really great and fun to work with, but my absolute favorite thing has been taking a well-known show and finding ways to reinvent it.

If you were cast in Little Shop, which character would you want to be?Audrey. Without a doubt. I can do the voice. I could sing her stuff in falsetto or down the octave. Plus, if you saw Balm in Gilead, I make a pretty lady prostitute.

Favorite musical?My favorite musical is Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon. Musicals are extraordinarily fun, but all too often the characters get lost to spectacle. Ordinary Days is one of a select few that vulnerably exposes its characters even though they’re facing much more realistic and ordinary (get it) problems.

Favorite actor/actress?James McAvoy. He has done such a wide range and has always been amazing. Plus, he’s beautiful. I mean who would think Mr. Tumnus could be a buff action hero (Wanted) or a tragic love interest (Atonement).

Name three songs that would be on the soundtrack of your life.Sovay by Andrew Bird, Two-way Monologue by Sondre Lerche, and Countdown by Beyoncé.

What’s one thing that most people at Kenyon don’t know about you?This is hard, because I’m kind of an open book. I guess the fact that I’m a Slytherin.

What’s your spirit animal?I’ve had many over the years from meerkat to lamb, but my best friend recently dubbed my spirit animal a wombat due to their cute appearance but feisty nature.

Is there anything still on your Kenyon Bucket List that you want to do before you graduate?Mmmm I don’t believe so. I’ve had a great time at Kenyon. I love the college so much, and I’ve taken advantage of all it has to offer that I wanted to take advantage of.

Do you have any advice for future directors at Kenyon?There’s a couple of pieces of advice that I would give.

1. Directing your peers can be awkward, but you must establish your roles and responsibilities at the very first rehearsal. When you’re rehearsing you should have a different relationship than when you’re just hanging out.

2. Next thing is to trust your actors and designers. Believe in them. Have high expectations of them. Challenge your actors, and let your designers have complete ownership of their projects (within your the bounds of your production concept). This will challenge those working around you as well as yourself, pushing the entire production above and beyond. The worst thing you can do is underestimate the abilities of a member of your team.

3. Finally, the last advice I will give is to find your voice as a director, what sets a show you direct apart from the same show directed by someone else. Is it a rehearsal technique? Is it challenging the role constrictions through unorthodox casting choices? Pick an aspect of theatre that is always present that intrigues you. How can you subvert this? How can you innovate it? I try to focus on the hyperrealism within a show. No matter how absurd the script is, I will look for those moments that can become hyper realistic. Once these have been established, then I distort the realities within the script and emphasize the absurd as a means of contrast.

Class of 2017 at Kenyon College. English major, Music and Math double minor. Hobbies: Reading, Writing, Accidentally singing in public, Eating avocados, Adventure, and Star Wars.
Ally Bruschi is a senior political science major at Kenyon College. She spent this past summer interning as a writer with both The Daily Meal, a digital media group  dedicated to "all things food and drink" and The Borgen Project, a non-profit organization that partners with U.S. policymakers to alleviate global poverty. Before entering the "real world" of jobs, however, Ally spent many summers as a counselor at an all-girls summer camp in Vermont, aka the most wonderful place on earth. A good book, a jar of peanut butter, a well-crafted Spotify playlist, and a lazy dog could get her through even the worst of days.