Ruth Watkins, Storyteller
RUTH WATKINS, Theatre major, UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, Marketing major, UMD Robert H. Smith School of Business
I spent my last semester abroad in London, which was fantastic and I was able to do it partially because I had received a scholarship from the donors at the Clarice Smith Center.
The best part was seeing that there is an audience for the kind of theater I want to do.
Towards the end of my trip I made sure I went to see War Horse, which blew my mind — and that’s actually a bit of an understatement because I cried the entire 20 minutes walking home from the West End to my flat. And I called my friend Johnny who had seen it before and here I was, making an international call, crying and in absolute hysterics about how beautiful the show was — the aesthetics, the storytelling and, of course, the puppetry.
I’m part of Pointless Theatre Company, which was founded by UMD students and does a lot of puppet work in DC. And it was just incredibly inspiring for me as a young artist and as a young college kid to see something on a commercial stage, where puppets are typically marginalized, that uses puppets in an area of mass appeal.
The best part was seeing that there is an audience for the kind of theater I want to do. It showed me you can tell a simple story about human goodness, human kindness and relationships and it can be beautiful and it can sell.