Shari Wilson is a double major at Northwestern State University in English with a concentration in film studies and theater with a concentration in performance and directing. NSU was one of Wilson’s top choices when deciding her plans after high school.
Wilson began as a theater major but always loved film. She knew she wanted to work and write in entertainment, but didn’t know about NSU’s film department until a friend informed her about her own double major in theater and film studies.
Wilson immediately changed to a double major the fall semester of her sophomore year. Double majoring is difficult but she belongs in these two fields of study.
In the Department of English, Foreign Language and Cultural Studies, poetry solidified Wilson’s love of writing. Dr. Rebecca Macijeski has inspired her greatly during her time as an English major.
“I have to name my kid Rebecca now,” Wilson said.
Wilson always loved movies but after watching “Whiplash” (2014), directed by Damien Chazelle, she knew this was what she wanted to pursue.
“The movie made me feel things I’ve never felt before and I have to make people feel like this,” Wilson said.
Wilson finds inspiration in a ton of places. Ross Gay and Olivia Gatwood are poets that make her love writing. Gatwood writes about the turmoil and beauty of being a woman. She is currently reading The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir.
Beauvoir breaks down women’s role in society and society’s role in the way women view themselves. Wilson describes this book as making her feel so whole.
In film, she looks up to directors like Wes Anderson, Spike Lee, Agnes Varda and Greta Gerwig. Wilson wants to be a mom and have a career. She hopes to balance her life like Gerwig who was pregnant when she was nominated for an Oscar.
One of Wilson’s favorite parts of theater is the people. While working on her first show in the department, she was a stage manager and held a minor role in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” She experienced the cast and crew needing to rely on other people and be relied on.
Wilson knows she can go talk to any of her professors about anything. She also loves walking down the hallways, students can be heard tap dancing or singing in rooms.
“Being in this department, it’s incredible to be surrounded by all this art and beauty,” Wilson said. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
She also spent some time doing extracurriculars. During the fall semester of 2019, she was the assistant director for the Student Theatre Organization’s production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” She also spent last year in the Student Film Studies club.
Wilson says being a theater major feels like an extracurricular. Students go from classes to rehearsals, there’s only so much time they get to themselves. There’s just not always time to join more extracurriculars. Theater has become her life, and she loves it.
This spring, Wilson is directing a second season in the theater department. A second season is a student lead play that is recognized and funded by the department. Ever since she was a freshman, Shari dreamed about having a second season and this year her dream is coming true.
Wilson is directing a series of short plays that handle different situations like gun violence, racism, sexual assault, being a mom, getting married and more with the working title: “An Evening of Short Plays.” She is beyond excited to begin rehearsal this March with pre-recorded showings in April.
Wilson will be graduating this spring. She has long term plans of writing plays and movies and a poetry collection. This year, she plans on heading to New Orleans, LA where the film industry is booming back.