Molly Frisch, Theatre and Communication Arts

Where are you from, and what brought you to UW–Madison?

I’m from Stillwater, Minnesota, and I chose UW–Madison primarily because of the campus atmosphere and the quality of the programs here. I knew no matter what career I chose, I could easily start pursuing it here at UW. I loved the hustle-and-bustle of students and food trucks out on Library Mall with the gorgeous view of the Red Gym, Memorial Union, and Lake Mendota. I also loved the blend of city and college you get while going to college in Madison — the view of the Capitol at golden hour is unbeatable!

What are your majors, and how did you choose them?

I am a Theatre and Drama and Communication Arts (Film-TV-Radio) double major. I’ve always loved theatre since I was a kid, and I decided I wanted to pursue it after working on a few productions through the UW–Madison Department of Theatre and Drama as well as getting to experience theatre in London during my semester studying abroad. I decided on my second major in communication arts because of my intrigue in also working in the film or TV industry behind-the-scenes, and I knew that we have a nationally-renowned program here.

What was your most meaningful experience at UW–Madison?

Definitely all the productions I’ve worked on through our theatre department over the course of my college life. Over the course of my two years in the department, I had the privilege of stage managing/assistant stage managing four productions in total. I really found a community of amazing students and professors while doing what I love, and I got the chance to work alongside fellow students and industry professionals within an academic setting. I had an amazing mentor that actively pushed me in my learning, and helped me find industry connections to kickstart my career while still in school. I wouldn’t trade spending six nights a week in the basement of Vilas Hall putting together show after show for the world!

What class or professor had the greatest impact on you, and why?

It’s tough to narrow it down, but I’d say my mentor Jahana Azodi, professor/scene shop head Rob Wagner, and former professor/director David Kersnar have had the greatest impact on me. Collectively, they have all helped me grow exponentially in my capabilities all while rooting me on and giving me wonderful advice time after time. I’ve spent so many nights before or after class picking their brain for their wisdom, or sharing theatre stories and having a laugh. I cannot thank them enough for the kindness they’ve shown me, and they’re a huge reason I’m as confident in what I do as I am today.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

My advice to incoming students would be find what you REALLY love, and chase it as hard as you can. There is no better feeling than finding the thing that makes you feel passionate about what you do, and it’s worth it to be selfish and pursue it in this time of your life (a time when you’re supposed to be doing what’s absolutely best for you!). Don’t be afraid to ask questions, reach out for advice, and make use of all the people and resources available to you here — you never know when one conversation will change your life. One email changed the course of my career!

How will you celebrate your graduation?

I’ll be celebrating my graduation with my family and my dogs back in my hometown, keeping it COVID-safe but filled with joy and excitement. My parents have been best friends and motivators to me throughout my time at UW–Madison, always telling me to do what I love and picking me up in moments of doubt — so I’m really excited to share in this with them.

What are your plans for the future?

This fall, I plan to stay right here in Madison. As theatre makes its glorious return, I’m hoping to work with some of the amazing theatre companies in town that I’ve worked with in the past — and from there? Stay tuned!

You’re a UW–Madison expert now, so we must ask: What is one thing every UW student should experience?

Absolutely golden hour on the Terrace, and/or on the steps of the Capitol building!

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