Noelani Stevenson ’19 starts training for her new job in July. Exercises will include physical training, accent training, and combat training. By August, she will have improved her sword fighting, cockney accent, and fortunetelling abilities, preparing her for her job’s main event.
Stevenson will, of course, be portraying Eskarina Nutter, a “wise woman,” at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire.
Stevenson’s first job after graduation will be at the “Disney World of renaissance fairs,” performing and writing long-form comedy and working on her improvisation. The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire will take place August through October, and Stevenson is ready for a “completely crazy and new experience.”
Majors: Theatre/Classical Studies
Hometown: Manchester, N.H.
High school: The Derryfield School
“I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” Stevenson said, describing her decision to attend a Boston-based audition conference during the spring semester. During the conference, she tried out for several programs and eventually auditioned for about 50 directors. “I got accepted to a couple of continuing education programs, like Stella Adler, but I decided that I just wanted to take the plunge and take the paid job,” she said. Pursuing a job at the fair would give her the experience and connections that she wants early on in her theatre career.
Stevenson claimed that her theatre experience at Hamilton had helped make her a better actor. “I'd say that all of my acting training here has made me much more confident and prepared me to accept that role and take on the industry,” she said. Stevenson explained how participating in almost every Mainstage production during her time at Hamilton, working as a theatre teacher assistant and in the technical theatre shop and helping lead the student theatre group Untitled@Large reassured her of her capabilities. “I think definitely the self-confidence and the self-advocacy have been really important to me as an actor.”
Still, Stevenson did not always plan on pursuing theatre. She initially thought she would major in literature, then settled upon geosciences and finally, after years of committing herself to theatre classes and extracurriculars, realized that she felt at home in the theatre department and loved acting too much not to pursue it further. She said, “We’re a family in the theatre department, truly, and the relationships that I’ve formed with my peers and with my professors and with the staff of the department have been really so important and impactful on me as a person.” According to Stevenson, the theatre department had given her a place where she felt like she could fit in and thrive.
Quoting Theatre Department chair Mark Cryer, Stevenson said, “The best thing about a job is that it’s what leads to another job.” She said that she hopes working at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire will help her advance her acting career and is excited for the networking and audition opportunities that will come out of her work.