Written by Maris Mabry
Photographed by Sarah Grace Kivett
Theater, literature, and creative writing are three subjects that go hand in hand, and Noelle Hisnanick has certainly explored these relationships in her time here at Anderson University. From attending tap and jazz classes, to appearing in theater productions, and even writing her own full play, Noelle has been active in pursuing a theatrical twist to her career as an English major.
When asked what drew her to learning about theater alongside literature and writing, Noelle replies, “Stories in general fascinate me so much. I’ve never just been interested in writing, or interested in theater…it’s just the idea of creating stories in any way that I can.” Noelle goes on to explain how, whether she’s reading a play or a novel, she’s always drawn to character-driven stories. Because of this, she has found the works of Flannery O’Connor, Tennessee Williams, T.S. Eliot, and Brian Friel to be among her favorites.
Noelle’s smile and enthusiasm are infectious when she speaks about theater, sharing that “A part of me really enjoys the creative process with so many different people and so many different talents working together to create the product as a whole. It’s bigger than yourself.” Alongside the performance aspect of theater, Noelle has also developed a passion for dramaturgy, the process of analyzing the script, researching the play’s history, and learning about the social climate of the whole production.
In writing her own play, Noelle feels she has found her true calling: “Having started writing a play this semester, I think it’s the most enjoyable form of writing I’ve ever done, because it incorporates so much of what I feel like I love. It’s not just the text aspect, I also have to create a set.” The opportunity to draw out stage design, potential costumes, and other behind-the-scenes details aligns perfectly with one of Noelle’s primary creative processes: drawing. “Something about drawing, it’s the only creative thing I do where I’m not self-critical,” Noelle admits with a laugh.
With graduation rapidly approaching, Noelle already has hopes to one day earn her master’s degree in library science, though in the meantime she aspires to establish herself as a playwright. She will certainly leave behind a legacy here at Anderson University, but I see that as a foundation for all the great things to come.