By Gillian Herszage
When I first arrived on campus in the Fall of 2021, I told myself I wouldn’t be getting involved in student life. I would just get my degree and get out. It took approximately four days after I said that, for me to change my mind and apply to be on the Stern College Dramatic Society Board (SCDS). I thought, maybe, I would meet like minded people and make a few friends.
Post-COVID, SCDS was starting fresh with an almost entirely new crop of performers, a first time board, and the uncertainty that came with Fall 2021. We could barely fill an eleven person cast. Yet, through recasting, COVID positives, and Zoom finals, my first SCDS production, Radium Girls prevailed.
Then when the spring and the first Musical Theatre Showcase arrived, I really learned the importance of this club. SCDS is the only opportunity of its kind on our campus. It is a performing group for the women of Yeshiva University, to perform in quality productions that are representative of our actors and crew’s levels of talent and devotion to the arts, while also observing Halacha (Jewish law) and Tzniut (modesty).
This Fall, two years after I joined the SCDS board, on a whim in an attempt to make friends as a first time student, I called for auditions. This time, I was board President. With a new director, Leah Gottfried (SCW ‘14), successful Fall production of The Mousetrap, and Spring Musical Showcase, it was clear from 2022-2023, that SCDS had supporters and a good track record. Still, Fall of 2021, when we were scraping for actors, kept creeping back into my mind. What if no one cared?
There were twenty four sign up slots on my spreadsheet for audition night. Twenty four people wanted to be in our play. With tears in my eyes, I looked back on how far we had come. I am so proud to bring creative opportunities to this campus.
SCDS stands for empowering the women of Yeshiva University on and off stage. We stand as a reminder that being a Halachik person does not stop us from being creative and expressing ourselves. Hobbies, passions, and dreams don’t have to leave us when we graduate high school. SCDS is a community that creates beautiful productions and beautiful friendships. The SCDS production of The Anastasia Trials In The Court of Women by Carolyn Gage, opens December 3rd, stay tuned for ticket information coming soon, and give us a follow on Instagram @sterncollegedramatics.