Student Features

Behind the Scenes in London

Throughout her life, fine and performing arts major Veronica Sniezek ’16 of Adams, Mass., has loved the theatre. At MCLA, she’s found her niche in theatre and costume design.

Half my music collection is opera and musical soundtracks, and my book collection includes play scripts, costuming books and theatrical theory books!” she exclaimed. “I love to be creative with real-life objects, and making costumes for me is a true art form. The idea of making something from nothing with pieces of fabric, thread and any bits and bobs that will look beautiful on the finished product is a warm and welcoming process for me.”

Sniezek feels similarly about makeup design, which she studies as part of her costume design focus.

“It’s almost like painting a picture on a canvas, but the canvas is a face. One can create many characters from the facial design alone, but when makeup and costume design are combined, it creates a character – a likeness of a person presented onstage – just how every day people create a look for themselves and how they want to be seen to others,” she explained.

Sniezek recently spent a semester in England, at Queen Mary’s University of London. In addition to being one of the top universities in London for drama studies, this location gave her an opportunity to enjoy performances she wouldn’t normally have access to.

“I also attended special events and museums in the city, including “Letters Live” – celebrities reading letters from history – a convention sponsored by the BBC, and the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

In total, Sniezek saw more than 25 shows in London, attended a number of special events, and experienced many exhibits relating to theatre, costuming and fashion and art in general.

“Seeing live entertainment in world-renowned venues, such as Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre of London, was a fulfilling experience,” Sniezek said.

She also had an opportunity to fulfill a “study appointment” at the Fashion Museum, which gave her access to various clothing pieces from different eras, such as the Renaissance and the Victorian era.          

Sniezek enjoyed studying in London because of the diversity of those who reside there. “All different cultures come together to form a melting pot of different ethnicities and customs living together in the one city,” she said

While living in London, Sniezek visited Bath and Stratford upon Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace. “Shakespeare is naturally one of my favorite playwrights, so getting to visit the town, his home, and his gravesite was a truly thrilling experience,” she said.

Back at MCLA, Sniezek belongs to the Harlequin Musical Theatre club, the Yorick Shakespeare club, and the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. She’s had many design opportunities in MCLA’s theatre program. This includes helping to design her first show as a sophomore.

“By incorporating what I learn in the classroom and bringing it to the stage for our department’s’ annual shows, it makes the experience full of so much worth and value for what I am learning,” she said.

What’s the best part about being an MCLA student?

“Whether it was meeting people, working on shows, or being with friends, I always found some kind of sense of community and family that I never had at my past schools,” Sniezek said.

“I know I will never forget my time here, and I also don’t want my time here to end so soon! But no matter where I go, I know that MCLA has helped me pursue my passions and helped me onto my next life adventure!”

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