Go Backstage

Interview with Conservatory Student, Luke Dodson

Tell me a bit about the Conservatory Program. What does a typical day look like?

I usually arrive at Conservatory around noon. I then head straight into my classes. In the morning, I have ballet and acting which are 90 minutes each with breaks in-between.

My acting class is also very physical we are asked to always do our monologues with physical movements as we start working on them, so later we can find the right amount of physicality with our monologues before we present them. Acting class is also a time when we can express ourselves and talk to other people about our week.

We then have a break and then we go to ballet class. Ballet is very challenging it is all about mastering proper position balance and movement.

After a lunch break, we head to Jazz where we warm up by stretching, doing across the floors, or mini-combinations. I enjoy challenging myself to push harder to master a move turnout or stretch, and I also love the combinations that we learn in both ballet and jazz.

And to end the day, we have music class. We usually warm up by singing scales and by doing sight-reading games and practicing seconds, thirds, and fourths. Our teacher will then give us a song to markup and practice. We then practice that song for the remainder of the time

How many teachers do you see in a day? Which of them has made the biggest influence on you and why? 

I see 4 teachers in a day. I think that Andrew (acting) has made the biggest influence because he has encouraged me to be more physical in practicing the monologue and to take risks.

What makes this program different from the Pre-Professional Program of which you were a previous student? 

Pre-Professional company was a larger time commitment and a larger variety of classes.

When did you know that you really loved musical theatre enough to pursue it as an after-school activity?

I think I knew it when I was in fourth grade and I played the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz.

What makes performing in front of an audience so great?

The adrenaline rush and being able to embody the character makes me feel like I am that character. Being in front of an audience makes it all come to life. 

Are you at all nervous about auditioning for the Pre-Professional program when the time comes?

A little bit, but I guess but I feel like I have a chance because I’ve been in the program before.

What do you think of the kids you’ve met in the Conservatory classes?

They are very friendly, supportive and funny.

What would you say to kids who are hesitant to join the Conservatory?

Join it if you feel like you want to pursue theater. 


First show you ever saw: Peter and The Star Catcher

Favorite Musical: Come From Away

Best moment on stage: Playing the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland