Riley Russell (‘21)
What are your majors/minors?
Biomolecular Sciences & Drama
What activities are you involved in as a student, both within the RC and elsewhere on campus?
Alpha Epsilon Delta (Pre-Health Honor Society), RC Players, We The P.R.O.U.D (People representing our unifying diversity)
What are some highlights of your career - or side projects - that you’re most proud of?
One of the biggest highlights of my career has to be when I did an independent study where I directed, produced, and designed Metamophoses by Mary Zimmerman. This was such an intense learning experience. This was probably the biggest directing project I'd ever worked on. I had to learn how to write and apply for grants, as well as mostly taught myself how to operate the light board in the Keene so that I could design and run the lights for the show. It also taught a me a lot about working with a large team and how to go with the flow when things go array.
What are you doing lately that you’re passionate about?
Lately, I've just been brainstorming about this little theatre project. It's goal is to educate and entertain younger kids about the preventative practices in dentistry like brushing your teeth etc. I always feel like the ideas are a little cheesy, but I really don't want this show to be one of those cheesy educational presentations.
What about it makes you so passionate? What is the underlying reason or cause you’re doing what you’re doing?
My future is dentistry, that's what I'm going to school for but I cannot deny my passion for the theatre so I thought why not combine them. By using the intersection of theatre and dentistry, I hope to go to various underserved communities both rural and city to present this show which educates those kids about how to brush, how to floss, and basically how to take care of their teeth so that they don't have to be at the dentist so much. I also want to bring a mobile clinic along with the show so that kids who need attention can get it right there.
How does something you are doing in the RC relate to this?
Taking theatre classes has really helped me understand more about the drafting process, as well as exposed me to multiple different styles. I'm currently in an RC class on latino theatre for social change where we're drafting a play on policing.
If you could have dinner with anyone, fictional or real, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would have to say Megan Thee Stallion. She is one of my all time favorite rappers, but she also has done tremendous things to protect and uplift black women. She is known as the unproblematic queen and honestly she just seems like a really fun person to hang out with.
What’s your favorite food to make, and why?
Recently I've been making Bulgolgi and that is such a blast to make. It's honestly not that difficult of a dish but once everything comes together it just looks so fancy. I would say that the pickling of the cucumbers is the hardest part for me because I can never make the same pickling liquid twice.