Adelphi University Commencement 2011

Meet the graduates

Polina Minchuk '12
Polina Minchuk '12

What is your hometown?
I was born in Baku, Azerbaijan and moved to Ramla, Israel where I lived for 12 years. Then I moved to Brooklyn, New York nine years ago.



Theatre design and technology

Why did you choose to attend Adelphi:
I chose to attend Adelphi for its small size classes and liberal college aspect. It gave me the opportunity to take other classes outside of my major.

When and how did your interest in your major develop?
My interest in my major developed during my sophomore year of high school. I was an art major who didn't know what to pursue beyond painting. I decided to join stage crew. I continued doing it as hobby during High School. My senior year, my technical director gave me an opportunity to design the set for my own show (Steel Magnolias) and that's when I fell in love with it.

Did you complete any noteworthy internships or study abroad programs?
I interned at the Public Theater, which runs New York Shakespeare in the Park, for the two summers after my freshmen and sophomore years. I also worked at The Black Hills Playhouse in South Dakota as prop master after my junior year. I have assisted Sarah Martin, a Scenic Design professor, with designing Spring Fling in the city (Spring 2011), and helped Val Light, a Paint Shop Supervisor, out with Sleep No More and Little Miss Muffet, a puppet show in the city.

Describe your experiences at Adelphi with the faculty and/or your classmates?
In the Theater Department we get to work with our faculty very closely, helping them design or working with them in the shops. Sarah Martin and Valerie Light are my mentors who have been helping me with my journey through college, starting with designing through helping me find jobs. As for my classmates, we are very a close department consisting of 27 majors and minors all together. We interact daily and build working relationships with one another. This helps us later when we are actually in the field and are looking for the extra help or a job. For example, I helped my best friend to get a job at the Public Theater.

Did you work while going to school? Please elaborate.
Yes, I have worked at The AUPAC for the past four years and worked in the Theater Department's prop storage. I am in charge of organizing and keeping the prop storage area clean.

What accomplishment are you most proud of during your college career?
My biggest one is getting the chance to design Eurydice and going to Nationals for my design of Eurydice. But I also am very proud of devising the Triangle Fire Project and performing it in various spaces around the city.

Plans after graduation? Please elaborate.
I will be returning on May 21 to the Black Hills Playhouse where I will be a scenic designer for their first show Run for Your Wife, and the prop master. Then I am planning to get an apartment in the city, and keep freelancing as a prop artisan and assist scenic designers. In a few years I am planning to go to graduate school and to write my own play. Touring is another option that I am exploring.

What are your aspirations/dream job?
My dream job is to open my own theater where the profits will go toward foster care and other programs to help children in their early years. I also want to write a play about human nature, discussing the idea of one man deciding the faith of another.

What types of extracurricular activities are you involved with?
I have been designing the Vagina Monologues for the past three years. I have also been assisting actors with directing scenes and I have been a part of RAJE and Byachad. RAJE is leadership program that let me go to go to Europe and Israel after taking 10 classes for an affordable price. Byachad is a program where we create a camp for Russian Jewish children helping them to explore their Jewish past.

How do you handle such a full schedule with a rigorous academic curriculum?
It's prioritizing that's important at the moment, and planning ahead all the time.

Do you have any hobbies?
I enjoy traveling, hiking, rock climbing, exploring my past and background, reading and going to see shows.

What awards/honors have you received?
2012 Region One National Award KCACTF for Excellence in Scenic Design for Eurydice. I will be going to compete in the Nationals in April.

This page was last modified on July 25, 2012.
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