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Art as a Tool for Self-Exploration
Written by Ashley Minju Song | Published. 2020.05.26 10:13 | Count : 400

Art can be found in various types and forms. Ever since I was young, I’ve been surrounded by diverse types of art. As I grew older, I discovered an interest in viewing artworks at museums, including paintings, installation art, and photographs. I started not only carefully looking at the artworks themselves but also thinking about the intent of the artwork and where the artist got the inspiration to create the piece. I find visiting museums, extremely calming and inspirational. Theatre, however, is one type of art that I have enjoyed and remain interested even today. I’ve always liked watching musicals, opera, and even orchestra performances. One of the most memorable musicals I’ve seen was Mamma Mia, which I saw when I was nine years old. The stage set, lighting, and actors were all perfectly balanced to create a show that the entire audience enjoyed.

[Photo of the Poster of Barbara Kruger: Forever Exhibition. 
Photo Credit: Ashley Minju Song]

I am passionate about theatre. When I started middle school, I started to get more involved in theatre. I tried acting on stage for various performances, worked backstage, and staffed the tech booth to experience as many aspects of theatre as possible to find what I enjoyed the most. Learning how one performance can be experienced differently based on where one is in the theatre was a fascinating realization for me. When I was young, I watched performances but never thought about getting involved with the stage work. I just enjoyed how musicals and opera offered an entirely different atmospheres from real life. I was amazed by the fact that the actors have the opportunity to try all types of characters on stage leaving behind the true character of each individual and entirely focusing on the character from the script. The props, costumes, lighting, and sound effects are all major factors that create an atmosphere on stage that impacts the impression on the audience. These were things that I noticed before I actually got involved with theatre myself. 

[Photo of the Cast and Crew of Chadwick’s High School Production.
Photo Credit: Ashley Minju Song]

I first started acting for the annual school production when I was in sixth grade and joined drama class and acted in a few plays. During these experiences back in middle school, I noticed and became curious about what happens behind the stage during performances. This is where I found my interest in theatre technology. As soon as I became curious about a particular job done by people off the stage, I joined that crew to see what I could do to help. Compared to acting on stage, I felt like theatre technology pulled me into that world more, and now, as a high school junior, I am still passionate about theatre as a stage manager. 

Theatre taught me much more than I expected allowing me to develop my communication skills in different circumstances and learn how to interact with people. Meeting new people through theatre, and learning how each of them first started working on productions, was an eye-opening experience, as everyone had a different story. Also, learning how lighting and sound can be used to express feelings was mesmerizing. Through experiences with art, I am always filled with excitement about where art will take me in the future.

Ashley Minju Song
Junior (Grade 11)
Chadwick International

Ashley Minju Song  student_reporter@dherald.com

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