Dreams Come True for Theatre Alum


Theatre Newsletter | March 2022

It is hard to imagine that there are people in the world who actually live out some of their wildest childhood fantasies such as performing in the circus or becoming a movie star.

But indeed, some of our own St. Ambrose University alumni have seen such dreams come to fruition, such as alumnus Nikki DeWitt '21 who is currently rehearsing with The Rustic Mechanicals, a traveling Shakespeare theatre troupe based out of the Vintage Theatre Company in West Virginia.

"My high school director began the Vintage Theatre Company while I was in high school," DeWitt explained. "The Mechanicals was one of the first things that the Company created. Throughout high school and while I was home from college, I would go to some of their performances."

Because of DeWitt's connections with company founder Jason Young, she was asked to send in an audition tape to participate in the spring tour.

"The normal process is to audition at their open call in October, but I was not accepted this way," DeWitt recalled. "Towards the end of January I received a message from the Production Manager asking if I would be interested in their spring tour. I sent a video the next day, and by the following day I had all of the information for the tour, a contract, and rehearsal to attend in two days."


Nikki DeWitt

Class of 2021

Because of DeWitt's connections with her high school theatre director, she was asked to send in an audition tape to participate in the spring tour.

Many readers are likely unfamiliar with Rustic Mechanicals since they are based out of West Virginia, but they perform at high schools, colleges, and public theaters both for educational purposes and entertainment. DeWitt's tour will specifically take place in April, and it will contain productions such as Much Ado About Nothing and Macbeth.

DeWitt has certainly achieved a great deal already, but she is still facing challenges in the rehearsal process. At the forefront of her concerns are the returning actors and being able to live up to their abilities. But despite all of that, DeWitt said she is having an amazing experience being a part of the Mechanicals.

"I feel like I've been thrown into the deep end and I've begun to swim a lot faster than I expected," DeWitt described. "I have learned so much in the short amount of time I've been working with the Mechanicals, and it's amazing to watch the camaraderie and know that soon I will be a part of it."

DeWitt said she would absolutely recommend this experience to anyone wanting to dip their feet into the world of professional theatre right out of college.

"I have no words," she stated. "It's incredible, and I hope to give the students we perform for the desire to continue with their love of Shakespeare."

DeWitt's experience with The Rustic Mechanicals is extraordinary and the SAU Theatre Department is beyond delighted to watch her thrive. It just goes to show that anyone searching to fulfill that childhood dream should go for it, because it might just come true.


Addy Nelson ’23 was born with an entrepreneur’s spirit. With her parents owning the bowling alley in her hometown of Gregory, South Dakota—the same place she perfected her game to earn a scholarship to St. Ambrose University—she learned early to be innovative, customer-focused and business-minded.

Read More About Innovative App-lication...

Maggie (Verdun) Bohnert '15, '16 MOT

At SAU, hard work = recognition. Here is a list of full-time students who were named to the St. Ambrose University Dean's List for the Fall 2023 term. These students earned a GPA of 3.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale).

Read More About Fall 2023...

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