On the surface Ryan Cassidy ’17’s interests sound disparate, but when he talks about them, they form a triad.

The theatre and philosophy major is a member of Hamilton’s swim team, primarily a distance freestyler. For Cassidy, swimming and theatre are about getting there. If you don’t enjoy the journey, he says, you’re going to be miserable in both.

“What I like most about the process of training for swimming and the rehearsal process for theatre is seeing how things that, at the beginning of the process seemed impossible or at least too difficult for me to accomplish, slowly become possible,” he says. Early in the season it’s very difficult for swimmers to hit their race pace, but it happens as the season progresses. In theatre, giving life to a role, a play or a particular moment, can also stretch out over time, Cassidy says.

As for philosophy, he fell for the subject when he took the class Telling Right From Wrong. Now he draws on it for his other two pursuits. “It has given me a concrete approach to working through the difficult points in both processes. When writing a work of philosophy, you have to identify a problem and then come up with the best solution for it — and be able to fully support why it is the best. You also have to know in advance what the problems might be with your solution. I can apply this to both swimming and theatre,” says Cassidy, who is headed toward a theatre career and may pursue a master’s degree in acting.

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