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Bearcat of the Week shares thoughts of a thespian

Caroline Nelson, junior psychology major, is a member of the SVC Players who has played roles in every Saint Vincent production since the February 2016 presentation of “Anything Goes!”

Nelson pinpointed the beginning of her passion for theater to the formation of a drama club by the principal of her middle school.

“[..] Practically everyone joined [the club], so of course I did too and I fell in love. I always knew I loved to sing and imitate voices and accents before then, but acting onstage brought all of it together for me,” Nelson said.

After her experiences with the drama club, Nelson has kept acting a cherished part of her life. She joined the Players during her freshman year and is now involved in the Players’ upcoming fall production of “A Fine Monster You Are!”

Greggory Brandt, producing artistic director of the SVC Players, characterized Nelson as an exemplary actor with a gift for performance.

“[Nelson] is definitely one of my leaders on and off stage,” Brandt said. “[She is] a fabulous influence for the younger students. She has a genuine actor’s sense: good timing and instincts with an honest approach.".

When recounting a remarkable memory of her time as a member of Saint Vincent College’s theater community, Nelson shared a story about her role in the 2017 fall play “The Very Great Grandson of Sherlock Holmes.”

“The script called for my wheelchair bound character to wield a lasso which I can’t do, so Gregg [Brandt] told me to come up with a line to say. So I rolled myself out onstage, looked at my friend John [playing Sherlock Holmes’ grandson] and said ‘you are an idiot’ in an old lady British accent and then rolled myself offstage,” Nelson said.

Nelson stated that one of the most rewarding parts of acting is the reactions she gets from the audience.

“Moments like those when the audience is really entertained just get me more into character and remind me why I love doing theater,” Nelson said, regarding her aforementioned ad-lib during “The Great Grandson of Sherlock Holmes.”

Aside from her work with the Players, Nelson is the president of The Company, a completely student-run theater group at Saint Vincent, which will be performing “Guys and Dolls” this fall, with Nelson serving as the assistant director and student costumer of the show.

Additionally, Nelson’s hobbies of sewing, knitting and embroidering are employed in her theater work, as evidenced by her involvement as the student costumer for “Guys and Dolls.”

Outside of acting and theater, Nelson takes part in her work-study job for Campus Ministry, where she organizes the music for masses in the student chapel. She uses her passion for singing to cantor at least one Mass every week. Nelson was also one of the final four contestants during the April 2018 singing competition The Voice at Saint Vincent.

After graduating from Saint Vincent, Nelson plans on going to graduate school for school psychology, which she will use to work for a school district and ensure that children with cognitive and developmental disabilities receive proper aid in school.

“A Fine Monster You Are!” will be presented from Oct. 26 to 28 by the SVC Players. Caroline Nelson will play Emily Holbrook.

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