Switching majors to pursue what you love: Meet Theresa Rudesil
“Fortune 500 companies hire theatre majors because of their ability to think creatively and come up with creative solutions to problems. No matter what you end up doing, being a theatre major gives you a leg up because it teaches you how to think creatively.”
- Performing Arts: Theatre
- Maurice, La.
Where I'm From
I grew up near Lafayette and loved performing in community theatre.
Where I Am
I’m learning about all the different facets of theatre, from acting to directing to writing.
Where I'm Going
I’m going to spend the rest of my life doing what I love.
Theresa Rudesil started college thinking she knew what she wanted — to major in biology — but quickly discovered “I had no idea what I actually wanted.”
After discovering that biology wasn’t the path for her, she re-assessed her plans and looked to her passion: theatre.
“Theatre had been a passion of mine for a long time, and it got me through a difficult time in high school,” she said. “When I was struggling to figure out what I really wanted in life, I thought, well, I really loved being in theatre, so why not spend the rest of my life doing what I love?”
Career Opportunities in Theatre
Theresa hesitated to change her major because of financial concerns. She came to UL Lafayette because it was an affordable choice for a high-quality education, and she needed to trust that she could find work after she graduated.
“I actually talked to my advisor, and I was like, I really want to do this,’ but I didn’t go straight for it because I was nervous I would never make any money,” she said.
“But Fortune 500 companies hire theatre majors because of their ability to think creatively and come up with creative solutions to problems. No matter what you end up doing, being a theatre major gives you a leg up because it teaches you how to think creatively.”
Theresa is pursuing a concentration in acting but is open to opportunities in all realms of theatre, from costumes to lighting to scenic design.
“You see the actors on stage, but where did the set come from? Where did the props come from? What about what they’re wearing?” she said. “And then there’s the director and the stage manager — there are so many different jobs, and you’re going to find something you love whether it’s on the technical side, the business side, or the acting side. There are so many avenues to go down.”
Immersed in Theatre on Campus
In the performing arts program, Theresa found a community of students and faculty who challenge and support her.
“Whenever I switched to theatre, I found a community of people that supported me and wanted the best for me,” she said. “The professors are all super supportive, and the students have become not just my friends but also my family."
"We have become a family in the performing arts department.”
Part of the family atmosphere comes from working together on multiple shows a year. Theresa’s taken on responsibilities as a stage manager, stagehand, set builder, and dramaturge (a person who advises on the context of a script). In her classes, she’s exploring acting, directing, and writing original pieces.
In Theresa’s THEA 392: Devised Solo Performance class, she directed, designed, acted, and stage-managed an original performance based on real-life trauma. Her sister, a police officer, was shot on duty but recovered.
Theresa’s piece explored how life would have changed if her sister hadn’t survived.
“I struggled a bit at the beginning, but I’m the proudest of it,” she said. “It was a piece on the significance of understanding how to use our moral compass to guide our decisions — and how everything is different for every person.”
After graduation, Theresa wants to do “a little bit of everything.” She wants to work in film and television on projects like “Madame Secretary,” “This Is Us,” or the Marvel franchise.
“That would be a dream come true,” she said. “I want to work on projects that go against stereotypes and play to humanity, so, in a way, we’re teaching things rather than just entertaining."