Thomas Feather is a junior BFA technical theatre major, and his art is extremely important to him.
Theatre has been a primary part of his life since before college, as he acted in multiple plays throughout high school. Not only did he participate in the technical aspects of the productions, but he did a lot of acting as well. In the beginning, his favorite part of theatre was that he got to miss class to help with shows, but as he got more involved, his love for theatre grew. While now his focus is in the technical aspect of things, he also had a great love for acting as a high school student. His favorite role, he says, was Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. He thoroughly enjoyed being a part of that show, but that was the last time he was actually on stage as an actor.
Feather found no difficulty in the process of choosing a college, as he “fell in love with Clarion at first sight.” After going on a tour, he felt right at home immediately. “It just seemed like an awesome little community,” he said. Feather began to be involved in the university’s theatre department soon after arriving on campus as a freshman, and quickly realized that the department was very welcoming of new students and encouraged people (majors and non-majors) to help with all productions. Around the second week of school, Feather became a technical theatre major full-time.
Since declaring his major, Feather has built sets, done properties design, sound design and lighting design for multiple university productions. This past summer, the department put on two shows, Godspell and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Feather was given the opportunity to do lighting design for both. “I really like the ability for students to get involved,” he says. Clarion’s theatre department allows its students to experiment in all aspects of theatre, and encourages them to broaden their horizons as artists. From the beginning of his career as a Clarion student, he has been heavily involved in the design aspect of shows, even assisting a senior in lighting for the first show of his freshman year. Since then, he has had a design position for every show the university has put on. Feather wholeheartedly believes that he would not have these opportunities at any other university, saying “[in] most college theatre departments, you don’t start getting design positions until your junior or senior year.” Clarion provides the hands-on experience that Feather thrives on.
After graduation, Feather would love to work on some type of traveling show, whether it be with a theatre production, band or something else completely. He would love to travel the world and continue to make art, so anything where he would get to do that would be his ultimate goal. To future theatre students, Feather says, “hard work gets you far.” The outcome of theatre makes the work all the more worth it. “Art can change the world,” he says. He would also like to encourage people to come to the department’s production of Boeing Boeing, opening on Oct. 5.