Student Spotlight: Genevieve Windbiel C’20

Genevieve Windbiel C’20

What attracted you to Drew?

Drew spoke to me because it had a required off-campus learning experience, which echoed my homeschool education in Manhattan. It also had one of the top five theatre departments in the country, and it was close to home. That’s not even mentioning the amount of scholarship money that Drew offered as compared with other schools in and around NYC. So the decision was pretty easy once I was accepted.

Did you know what you wanted to major in your first year? 

I arrived at Drew as an English major. I was really into critical literary analysis and Shakespeare and I thought I wanted to pursue those things in an academic environment, specifically as a middle school teacher. However, after my first semester at Drew, I knew I couldn’t keep myself out of the theatre department any longer. So I switched. I knew I could still teach with a theatre degree and it was probably something I would enjoy teaching more.

What is it about theatre that draws you to it?

I’ve been a performer since I was five years old. Theatre is all I really know. I love the rush of performance and the satisfaction of finishing a good script. I believe that art can change the world and I want to be a part of that change.

Have you done any internships?

I did an internship with a theatre company called The 24 Hour Plays last summer (2019). The company would basically assemble a group of six playwrights, six directors, and 24 actors and create and put up six short plays in 24 hours. I was an administrative intern, which basically meant I sent out emails asking for money and food, and photoshopped actors’ headshots. However, two productions went up in the time that I worked there and watching and experiencing all the work and dedication that went into those days was inspiring. I loved learning about new and different ways of theatre and community building. I hope to participate in one of those productions this summer!

Have you done any NYC, short or longTRECs?

I did a theatre shortTREC to London after my first year at Drew. It was socially intense, but artistically inspiring. We saw so many shows (I think I saw 30 in total, over the course of three weeks!) and not one of them was the same as any other! They all had different tones and themes and design concepts and writing styles and acting techniques, and I really felt fully immersed in the world of London and Edinburgh theatre. Speaking of Edinburgh, we went there for the last week in the midst of the Fringe Festival, which is a sort of variety festival of theatre and dance and music held in venues across the city. It’s about a month long and thousands of shows go up in spaces from thousand-seat theatres to the backrooms of pubs. It’s an outpouring of artistic expression unlike any other. It inspired me to want to apply to the University of Edinburgh for a Masters in playwriting, though I’ve decided to take a gap year before applying anywhere. Suffice to say, the shortTREC was awesome and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves theatre or who doesn’t know that much about it and wants to learn more.

Are you in any clubs or sports?

Over the course of my three years at Drew, I was a part of That Medieval Thing (TMT) and Plays in Process (PIPS). Both were complex and difficult but overall enjoyable experiences. They both taught me a lot about working as part of a unit and holding myself accountable for the welfare of the whole unit.

Did you have any mentors at Drew?

I’m lucky enough to have Rosemary McLaughlin as my mentor. She’s a kind, funny, and understanding professor and she inspired me to pursue playwriting in the first place. She’s pushed for me to have two pieces of my own put up at this school and is supporting me as I work on my third. She’s helped me have confidence in my own artistic ability and I like to think that she’s proud of my work as a whole.

What world issue(s) are you most passionate about?

I’m a staunch intersectional feminist. The inequality between sexes, genders, sexualities, and races in our country and our world is something I plan to fight through my art and through my actions for the rest of my life.

Any hobbies, activities, or fun facts you would like to share?

Well, since the quarantine started, I’ve been knitting and baking a lot, as well as finally learning how to drive.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?

I’ve been fortunate enough to live with my best friends in a quad of singles in Riker for the past two years. Getting to eat with them and laugh with them and do homework with them is what I think I’ll miss the most. It’s especially painful to think about now, because I’m graduating so I’ll never be living with them, at least in the same way, ever again. I’ll also always fondly remember the theatre majors’ meetings. They’re always chaotic in the best kind of way, with both the professors and the students cracking jokes and talking over themselves before we settle in to talk about serious things,

What are your career goals? Dream job? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I plan to start my own theatre company that produces the narratives of minorities that don’t get representation on Broadway or in other forms of media. I want to write and perform for that company and publish our work on Youtube so it can reach a wider audience. I hope to also bring the horror and sci fi genres more into the mainstream of the theatre community. In five years, I hope to be working at a mid-level theatre company as their literary fellow, reading scripts and doing dramaturgical work.

What advice would you give first-year students?

Do your work on time and raise your hand in class. Professors will remember you and appreciate your contributions. Also, take advantage of the resources available to you. Ask your professors for help with your work or if they know of any job opportunities that you could apply for. Chances are, they’ll have some ideas.

Lastly, why is the Gender & Sexuality Launch Community important to you?

I identify as bisexual and I like to think that the concept of gender really doesn’t apply to me. I hope that every scared queer child finds just as comfortable a place as I have at Drew.

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