Osmary Nieves, a senior from Cocoa Beach, FL, didn’t come to Lees-McRae as a freshman. She first attended Florida School of the Arts at St. John’s River State College. She knew she wanted to find a school to transfer to that had a small and intimate atmosphere, much like the school she was leaving. When she found Lees-McRae, she knew she’d found her home for the rest of her college years.
“I chose to come to LMC because it was a small and intimate college. When transferring I found that I wanted to go to a school very similar to the one I was leaving. I just did not feel right going to a big school. Lees-McRae has all the qualities I was looking for: small, intimate and the professors really care.”
Osmary is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre, and she enjoys being a part of performing arts at Lees-McRae. “Being a part of a Lees-McRae theatre production is a true hands-on learning experience. We practice four or five times a week for three or four hours. Then, after five weeks, we put up the production. We learn about costumes, dance, acting… Then we get to put them in action on the stage. Our productions are fun and we get to learn about so many things in theatre it gives us the experience to get ready to go in to the theatre work force.”
As president of Alpha Psi Omega, the performing arts fraternity on campus, and the campus chapter of the National Dance Association, it’s easy to tell that Osmary is passionate about performing. She even spends her down time in the dance studio. “My favorite place on campus is the dance studio, because I love dance, and I love to sing. The dance studio is quiet and allows me to get away. It has a piano and a sound system, so I just go in there and relax. I love the dance studio so much because I’m a firm believer that you must find that one thing in your life that keeps you centered and dance is that, for me.”
Osmary’s favorite class at Lees-McRae also includes dance! “My favorite class at LMC has been dance composition with Dr. Crabtree. Dance is my favorite form of theatre and expression. While taking dance composition, I was able to explore my creative dance potential,” Osmary explained. “I was able to learn how my mind works and how I can come up with effective choreography. I found that I like creating dance that sheds light on political and social issues.”
This performer doesn’t even take time off from the arts during summer break. Osmary spent last summer performing in the North Carolina Outer Banks’ drama, The Lost Colony. “I played the character Agona, and also did backstage tours. Working at The Lost Colony was a very eye-opening experience. I was able to put to work all the skills I had learned in the classroom. It really reassured me how much I want to do this job for a living,” Osmary said. “The Lost Colony is a show about the first attempt at an English colonization in the new world. My character Agona was the comic relief. She was silly and fun. She ends up falling in love with the town drunk and turns him around although she doesn’t speak any English. The Lost Colony ran for 64 performances this summer, once a day Monday through Saturday. I got to experience theatre as a job, and not just a hobby.”
After experiencing theatre as work, Osmary is sure she wants to involve theatre in her career. “After I graduate from Lees-McRae I want to work out in the regional theatre world all along the east coast. Eventually I want to make my way to New York City. My goal in life is to have a successful career in the theatre business and possibly become a teacher later in life. One of my dreams is to be in a Broadway production,” she said.