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Finding inspiration everywhere

Alan Flurry

Sophomore theatre major, and Cora Nunally MIlle Fine Arts Scholar in the Franklin Colege, Wyn Thomas channels her inspriations for theatre-making from a variety of sources. Our colleague Erica Techo shares her story:

She has written several plays, including “Write Their Wrongs,” a short play that discusses the aftermath of a high school shooting. It was performed around the country as part of #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence and then published by Playscripts, a New York-based imprint of the Broadway Licensing company.

“That play was inspired after I saw a show about gun violence, and I didn’t really like how it handled the issue,” Thomas said. “I had a conversation with my friends after, and we talked about how we would handle it differently.”

That brainstorming is how Thomas has approached many projects. Seeing other plays and listening to musicals provides a chance to workshop new ideas, Thomas said. She observes new approaches and then views her work more critically.

“Through high school, one of my favorite things to do was see every play in my area,” she said. “Even if it was a high school production with no one I knew, I would go see it. I just love seeing theater and walking away understanding how to improve my writing, how to solve my problems.”

New opportunities at UGA

Thomas grew up in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, but family ties to the Southeastern United States and the university’s prestigious Foundation Fellowship drew her to UGA. As the university’s top academic scholarship, recipients receive academic funding and stipends for travel, research and conferences.

For Thomas, this support means she can move to New York or Los Angeles to pursue her chosen career, while still being able to support herself. The funding also opens doors to travel, including a study abroad program in Oxford.

“Growing up, our family didn’t really travel,” she said. “We would mainly travel places to see family, and then my only time out of the country was to the Canada side of Niagara Falls. It’s awesome to get to go these places where I’d never thought I’d go on my own.”

While in Oxford, Thomas did “the European tour,” she said, and saw Paris, Amsterdam, Florence, Rome, Venice and Dublin on short trips. These cities opened new insights that will continue to inspire future works.

“In high school, most of my writing centered on being a writer or being an actor,” she said. Coming to UGA, I wanted the chance to go somewhere to gain a bigger perspective, to do non-theater things. I thought, ‘Oh, this is great, while traveling, I’ll take a break.’ But I didn’t take a break—I’d have my notebook out on the train, just taking a song and reordering it, moving things around.”

Image: Wyn Thomas in the Fine Arts Theatre. (Chamberlain Smith/ UGA)


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