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Thomsen Talk: Celebrating 15 Years

I have a confession to make: I didn’t think I’d make it a year. I was struggling to make friends, I wasn’t connecting with the students, and frankly, I wasn’t sure I knew what I was doing. I called a former college professor and shared my woes with her. She responded, “You really need to give it two years in order for it to be credible on your résumé.” Two years??? My longest theatre gig up to that point was nine months! How was I ever going to make it two years? That was 15 years ago.
In 2006 I joined the Quincy Community Theatre family as the Director of Student Theatre/Head of Education, and in 2014 I became the Artistic Director. I use the expression “life changing” sparingly so that when I say it, I know that I mean it. In this case, it’s absolutely true: QCT changed my life. It became the artistic home where I would discover who I was as a director and as a teacher. It was the place where I could understand who I was as a person and grow in acceptance and confidence. My weaknesses could be exposed in a safe environment, and my spirit could be strengthened from people who would teach me and love me through those weaknesses. Perhaps most importantly to me personally, through my work on a variety of projects and stories, QCT is a place where I understand more about God, my faith and different kinds of people.
COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order forced me to evaluate what I do, how I do it, and why I do it. I was challenged in completely new ways and was emotionally and physically exhausted. Now that I’m through the fire, I am so grateful for the skills and lessons learned from that time. I celebrate this 15-year milestone at the same time as our doors reopen to live productions, and I approach this new era as if I’ve hit the refresh button, certain that I’m doing what I want to be doing. Many people dream of working in theatre, and I am one for whom it is a reality. I am so very, very grateful to be in Quincy, and I consider myself blessed to be part of your family.

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