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Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Richard Biggio-Gottschlich - Garrick Players President

Richard Biggio-Gottschlich is the student president of Garrick Players, a student run organization that celebrates theater through the work of their talented members. 

“Everything in life is a learning experience you just have to take a step back and breathe, and examine how you as a person can grow and do better.”


Not too many people are familiar with Garrick Players. What does Garrick Players mean and what is this student organization all about?

Garrick Players is a student run leader group on campus. We organize different plays together and we talk about different creative arts. We talk about plays, musicals, how we act in them, how we design for them, and how we build the sets for them. We are a means of creating opportunity and understanding amongst the theater community. We connect people who’ve only done acting with people who’ve done nothing but technical skills. We are also one of the oldest theater student group in Illinois.

What events has Garrick Players hosted this semester?

We are famous for our 24 Hour Play Festival. During that we have students come in and everything for this festival is done within 24 hours. 7 p.m. Friday night, we have the writers sit down and write their plays around a mystery plot. This year’s plot was the United Nations flag so the writers had to employ this in their piece. 7 a.m. Saturday morning, the actors and the writers get together. This is when the actors get their scripts, get a chance to read over them, and they also get to start rehearsing. They have all day to have the chance to make the best show they can. Our technical crew is then assessing what needs to be done with lighting so that they can make the best shows. 7 p.m. Saturday night, we perform everything immediately 24 hours after it began.

What events can students look out for for the rest of this semester and the upcoming Spring semester?

Upcoming for November 30th, we have an open mic night we are hosting with Umoja. We are going to have people reading poetry, play music, etc. There are a lot of spots that will be open for people who want to perform that night. We obviously ask that content will be appropriate for the college. The Improv Workshop will also be doing a show in the middle of the open mic night. We will have some food that we’re looking at making that ourselves, but that is still up in the air as we are organizing it continually.

What is one lesson you’ve learned the hard way being a student leader of Garrick Players?

You have to really set down your timetables for things. Life is busy, and some people are still experimenting with getting their schedules together. You have to set very fine timetables in order to meet your goals.

How can students apply what they learn at Garrick Players in the real world?

Garrick Players is a network where you get to learn different skills from different people. You expose yourself to new ideas and that is a truly great part of the acting community. If you have a broader knowledge and perspective, you can potentially get more jobs. With Garrick Players you have a great opportunity to improve your speaking and writing skills, and you also get access to different cultural items you didn’t know even existed. You need to have good speaking and writing skills in the workplace. You may have great ideas, but you also have to improve your voice to express these ideas. 

Theater is really for everyone, there are alot of skills you can gain from it. I really encourage people to overall try out all the different organizations that they can. I’m not saying that everyone is going to fit. There are obviously different things for different people, you just need to try exploring them, try and see what skills you have. Everything in life is a learning experience you just have to take a step back and breathe, and examine how you as a person can grow and do better.