Several volunteer interns are new to our program in Monteverde this year. Vanessa Kichline, (yes, it is pronounced “kickline”) our costume designer and assistant producer, learned about our program from our puppeteer Michelle, who has been her best friend since the seventh grade. Vanessa is unique for being the first intern in our history to not have a performance- related major. She is majoring in biology and psychology and hopes to eventually get a Ph.D. in biological science.
While her logical, systematic mind is perfect for coordinating the more artistically- inclined, we didn’t think that we’d be able to put her scientific expertise to use. However, she has shared scientific tidbits ranging from insights into educational psychology to suggestions for plant design, and we all feel reassured whenever we hear her say “Don’t worry; I’m a scientist!”
Any preconceptions we might have had about a scientist lacking creative chops were quickly put to rest when Vanessa showed up; her experience as a costumer has been invaluable, and she has an excellent eye for color and style. She is also extremely resourceful; when she arrived in Monteverde, her suitcase contained hardly any clothes for her personal use because it was full of potential costumes. She has been modifying these items, including thrift-store purchases and her own dress from her freshman formal, on a borrowed army-green sewing machine from the mid-20th century. Everything looks great so far, but her biggest challenge is yet to come; in the next two weeks, Vanessa will have to figure out how to transform every person in our 20-member cast into a carnivorous plant!