Former French teacher Pam Seccombe has loved theatre for as long as she can remember, so she was eager to take on the responsibility of Props Master at the high school where she taught as well as taking part in several community theatre productions. When Seccombe decided to direct her career path away from teaching, she knew that she wanted to follow her artistic passion and further develop her skills in theatre.
Thanks to recommendations from several alumni, Seccombe decided to join the Theatre program at the Peck School of the Arts. “I’m doing things I never thought I would do and am having so much fun in the process,” she says. “Having the opportunity to grow and begin a new life in the theatre is wonderful.”
During her eight years as Props Master in both high school and community theatre along with two years of stage-managing, Seccombe has experienced an incredible amount of on-the-job learning. “I realize there’s so much more to learn, so that’s why I’m here,” she says. “I want to bring as much as I can to the work I do in the theatre, whether that’s teaching younger actors and technicians or managing a community production.”
Even with a decade of real-world experience under her belt, Seccombe still recognizes how much she has to learn from her fellow, often much younger, students. Learning to use new technology, for example, has been a challenge, but she appreciates her classmates’ willingness to help.
She has also been able to share much of her valuable experience with her classmates. “I can think of a number of conversations with other students where I’ve been able to supply information or talk through a situation and maybe provide a different viewpoint that might be helpful,” she says. “We all share a love of theatre and my experience at the Peck School confirm what I’ve always believed—that a common passion draws people together regardless of who they are.”
Seccombe looks light-heartedly on her unique situation. “If anyone had told me ten years ago that I would be back in college in a theatre degree program at this point in my life I would probably have laughed out loud,” she says. “But working with others who are as fascinated with how stage performances happen as I am has added a whole new dimension to my life. I may not be a traditional student, but I am certainly thrilled with my decision to become part of UWM’s Theatre program at the Peck School of the Arts.”