Radboud University’s Céline – How I Met Your WE

celine radboud WEYo, what’s up? I’m Céline, 23 1/2 years old and studying “le business” at Radboud. I started as an innocent Communication student (though there was business involved there as well – you just can’t escape business, my amigos). I came to Nijmegen in 2016 (jeez, that’s four 1/2 years now …) because I was craving that sweet sweet adventure of going abroad.

Suddenly, I was in my second year, and I felt that I wasn’t really meeting people. Sure, I had friends from my courses, but I was curious for more, especially since those friends were also German, and I wanted to meet more international peeps. And, I have to say, reading about the biz all the time made me want some distraction.

I think my course on gender studies decided it. There I was, being bored in a lecture about gender and sport (an actually interesting topic but not really), thinking about my options of non-uni fun. I remembered that one English play I participated in during secondary school (I was the main character’s witch mum that was way too quirky to be liked by any of the other witches, and always denoted her enthusiasm with a shrill “Splendid!”). It had been short, but fun, and I thought, why not. So I entered THE INTERNET (yes, it do be written like that) and searched for English theatre.

WOW-EFFECT came up. They happened to be in the middle of their annual workshop, which had already started the week before but a friendly email was all it took and shwoops, I attended my first rehearsal. I was a bit nervous, cause I didn’t know anyone, but I never let that keep me from doing stuff and going places. I was welcomed and immediately some people started talking to me – which is usually what I need to get a conversation going. The workshop was a lot of fun – we did improv and some get-to-know-each-other games, and in the last workshop, we read parts of the scripts for the season.

For the first project I was involved in, we had decided on “The Lost Boy”, a play about Peter Pan’s creator writing the story as his way of dealing with his childhood trauma. Despite how that might sound, the play was a lot of fun (for both the actors and the audience). Guess what I ended up playing. Yes, correct, the mum 😀 Though this time, at least, one with a hard-core reputation. Apparently fairy mums have that over witch mums.     

And now, three and a half years later, I’m still there. My study load has increased immensely, and now that I am in my final semester of my Master’s degree, time seems to just run away when I even look at it. But somehow it’s still worth it.

Usually, we decide all together what play we want to do. This year, we had to improvise a bit. Monologues was written and filmed more as a way to pass the time while we were stuck at home during lockdowns and quarantines. And our current project, Human.V.oid, had to be cancelled previously due to corona, so now we want to try again.

Next to acting, which I still thoroughly enjoy, my active participation increased with every project, and now, with acting, backstage department work, production and board, I have finally achieved my life-long dream of becoming an octopus-like almighty being that has its tentacles in every matter to add its (German proverb alert) mustard to all that’s going on. Nice.

Also mustard octopus. Anyone who would read that script? No? Oh well.

Anyway, it’s still fun to try new things, with cool and open-minded people that share my passion for the arts. Especially because my study focuses on management, I kinda do get some practice in managing, also several things at once, which can only benefit my CV (score!). I get to be creative – for example writing parts of the script for the 2040 project (of which Human.V.oid is one of three short plays), as well as picking up my rusty editing skills again. And while it does sometimes get tricky to combine homework, lectures and exams with rehearsal, backstage work and producing, I never feel like I made a mistake joining WE four years ago.

And here’s some advice to all those students out there still doubting whether they should join something like a theatre organisation during their studies: just do it. You can learn a lot, and you get to meet amazing people from all over the world – cause no matter where you come from or what you do, theatre has a way of bringing folks together.