Artist Spotlight: Acting major cherishes spiritual joy

by Emily Goodell

Madeleine L’Engle, author of “A Wrinkle in Time,” once said that there is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred.

Junior theater major Rebecca Seideman exemplifies that ideal. She tries to serve God in all things that she does, especially within her major. She is inspired by the idea of ministry through theater.

“I want to represent God in a good way in the professional acting community,” Seideman said.

Seideman has been involved in theater for seven years. She became interested in theater when she moved to a new state and became enrolled in a huge high school. Her mother was in charge of picking her classes and put her in beginning drama.

“I was absolutely terrified,” Seideman said.

Since then theater has been an integral part of her life. Seideman recently experienced a death in her family and theater helped her to process the tragedy and keep going.

“When you think about how fragile life can be, suddenly nothing else matters but to pursue passion,” Seideman said.

Seideman likes that theater brings together a whole group of people that would otherwise never be in the same room with each other. Theater has given her a new way to look at people and has shown her the importance of empathy—for characters and for people.

“I wish that I had a way to concisely describe how important theater is to me,” Seideman said.

She has lost count of how many shows she has been in, but her involvement with theater goes further than acting.

She is involved in many of senior projects, has participated in the Broadway Unbound dance showcase every year she’s attended Whitworth and had the opportunity to collaborate with directors and designers in New York. She is the stage carpenter, is in the mainstage production, and is co-leading and starring in Cool Whip this spring. She sometimes has rehearsal for upwards of five hours a day.

“I have to keep my sanity and remember what’s important,” Seideman said.

Something else that is very important to Seideman is her involvement with the homeless.

Last summer, Seideman moved to the Tenderloin District in San Francisco, which houses a large homeless population. She said that although it’s a disadvantaged neighborhood, most of the sadness and depravity is in the houses, not on the streets. She worked with the organization City Impact and ran a rescue mission in the district. They coordinated food and services, prayed with people and distributed much-needed items such as clothes.

Seideman has many homeless friends and says that the homeless population is misunderstood. She said that they are suffering from a “spiritual starvation.”

“The real problem is addiction and lack of spiritual support,” Seideman said.

Seideman has thought about completely engrossing herself into the homeless population, but has decided that she can better serve them through art.

“There’s something inherently spiritual about art,” Seideman said.

Seideman finds her inspiration in people and the quirky things they do. She has a rule that she is aware when she is anywhere. She watches people to inspire characters.

This summer, Seideman plans to temporarily move to San Francisco to be trained and certified in InterPlay, a technique using stories, movement and voice to unlock wisdom. After her certification, she would like to use that technique to help the disadvantaged youth and homeless population in San Francisco, using InterPlay as a sort of therapy.

After she graduates, she plans to marry her fiancé, whom she met while in San Francisco, and possibly moving to New York to become an Equity actor.

Seideman’s advice to other artists and people is to live for right now, accept help, not be afraid, and most importantly: to laugh.

“Laugh. Just laugh at everything. It makes life more bearable,” Seideman said.

Seideman will perform in the mainstage production, “These Shining Lives,”  opening March 6 in Cowles Auditorium.

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