Elise Dadourian ’16
Currently Attending: Brown University
Years at Shipley: 6
Activities & Positions Held: Varsity Soccer, Shipley Singers, Winter Musical, Spring Shakespeare; Arts Co-Head
The Value of Collaboration
Shipley has taught me the value of collaboration and teamwork. Whether playing on a soccer team, blending voices with an a cappella group, putting on a theater production, or rocking out with a band, I love working with my peers. There is nothing better than succeeding as a group. After all, who wants to celebrate alone? Who wants to fail alone?
Out of Character
I had always been cast as the innocent ingénue. Marian the Librarian from The Music Man, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, Sarah Brown from Guys and Dolls, Sandy from Grease: these were the types of characters that I had played in the past. Which is why I was surprised when given the role of the provocative, Mae-West-inspired character in Shipley's production of Godspell.
Her personality was different from mine in just about every way: she was overtly sexual, extremely confident, and very street-smart. She walked in a smooth, put-together kind of way, and had a deep, husky voice. I soon discovered that I would have to do a striptease at the beginning of the second act! I would have to play the seductress—strutting up and down the aisle, toying with audience members—all while wearing a skintight dress, black stilettos, and a red feather boa. The song itself was very technically challenging. It had a series of high notes that required a tremendous amount of breath control and diaphragmatic support.
I was unquestionably out of my comfort zone. In order to master the character, I had to work hard. I researched extensively, practiced endlessly, and remained dedicated throughout the process. These skills combined with self-discipline allowed me to achieve success. I learned to push myself beyond my insecurities, which is a lesson that I will apply to my non-theatrical pursuits in the future.
Plans Fall 2016
In the fall of 2016, I will be attending Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where I hope to study genetics and the environmental sciences. I also hope to be deeply involved in music and theater.
As of right now, I do not know "who I am going to be when I grow up." There are so many fields and professions that interest me—I blame Shipley for that. My high school instilled an intense passion for learning in me.
Shipley has prepared me to work hard and believe in myself.