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Monday, November 17, 2014

URI ALUMNI IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Meet Marilyn Salvatore, URI Alumni!

URI Theatre | By Diana Savino


Marilyn Salvatore
This week I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Marilyn Salvatore, a URI Theatre Alumni. Marilyn majored in acting here at URI, and graduated in 1974. She made a career jump about 7 years out of college and decided to become a costume designer. Currently, she is working as a freelance costume designer and also teaches in her free time. She has worked at The Gamm Theatre, Salve Regina, URI and other programs and events.

Salvatore still works with URI Theatre and usually designs two shows a year most recently designing the costumes for Seminar, URI’s most recent production. She explained that one of her favorite memories here at URI was when she was designing costumes for Bryna Wortman’s production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, a play in which Salvatore had acted when she was attending URI. 

It’s easy for Salvatore to stay close to URI because of the lasting relationships she has formed over the years. She explained that she still, to this day, keeps in contact with her mentor while she was attending URI. After graduation, Salvatore decided that acting might not be for her, so she called her mentor, Joy Spanabel Emery. She had always valued Joy’s opinion, so she asked “Hey I’m thinking of going into costume design… do you think that would be a good move?” Joy gave her the advice and confidence she needed to make the career jump from acting to costume design.

The skills that URI Theatre offers its students are skills that can be used in many aspects of life, as well as in many different career paths. Salvatore explained that URI Theatre is “a professionally run program, especially for undergraduates. You really get the taste of how things work, like showing up on time, being prepared, organized and responsible. These things are very necessary in the real world.” College, for any student no matter what their major, is a transitioning period. By learning these very important skills early on, students have a better opportunity out in the real world, because they are already used to the professionalism they have experienced at URI.

When asked if she had any advice for current students Marilyn replied, “Make the most of it. It’s a really great program that prepares you well. Many students who have graduated from URI go on to do great things. It’s a good opportunity to gain professional knowledge about how this business works in the real world.”

Salvatore’s last piece of advice for current students was the importance of knowing different disciplines. “It is very important for students to be well rounded and knowledgeable in other fields of acting such as; stage management, lights, design, etc. It’s important that you go into the world knowing details and developing empathy for co-workers in the different disciplines”.

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