by Reagan Carstens, Environment Wright
Journey: there is no word better to describe the last three years I have spent with Sweet Tea Shakespeare. My journey with Sweet Tea began at the “ripe old age” of 14. For years, I had done theatre, but little did I know I was in for a vastly different experience when I was cast in The Winter’s Tale as Perdita, a strong (and flirty) young woman who makes her own journey for true love. The Winter’s Tale, and this new kind of theatre, opened up a world of strange, up-close wonder that includes personal and beautiful interactions between actor and audience. In every work I have been a part of, there has been a vital lesson to be learned that has shaped me as an artist and as a human. Over the years, Sweet Tea Shakespeare has taught me the importance of allowing the audience into the story, the sanctity of actor-to-actor-to-audience relationships, and magic. Even more, I have made personal discoveries of the kind of actor and person I want to be: the kind that radiates love, and not the kind who steals it from spectators. In the next few weeks, I will begin another journey in my life at University of North Carolina School of the Arts. I go with the love that Sweet Tea has shared with me, the things I have learned, the intention to keep growing, and the knowledge that I will always have a family in them.