At Texas Performing Arts, we are able to professionally involve students in every aspect of our organization. Having the opportunity to show, connect, and inspire our students to be the next generation of arts leaders is one of the most important things we can do.
Student Spotlight: Brenda Stanfill
We sat down with sophomore Brenda Stanfill to talk about the performing arts, her studies in Human Development, and her time as a valued student employee.
Name: Brenda Stanfill, Class of 2021
Texas Performing Arts Receptionist
Major: Human Development & Family Services (HDFS) Minor: Sociology
Human Development & Family Services sounds like an interesting major. Tell us a little about that. We’re a small group with just over 550 students which is about 1% of the total number of undergrad students at the university. We study every form of development across the lifespan such as emotional, social, and relationship development. Some students also study biological and psychological development. Our goal is to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities from infancy to old age. I’m really enjoying learning about everything so far.
As a student of Human Development, how do you feel the performing arts impacts students in the audience? As students, we can get caught up in our routines; classes, work, homework, and hang outs with friends. And as time goes on, it’s just more of the same and we stress about papers and tests. The performances on campus offer a chance for students to decompress and see something out of the ordinary. It’s almost something personal because the actor, actress, dancer, or comedian is right there on the stage, giving a unique artistic performance each night. It allows us to make a personal connection with something new and lowers our stress level.
What about the general public? How do you feel the arts impact our society? I think the arts are really important for both the artists and the audience. Art is an expression of what it means to be human and reflects our lives. The artist expresses important issues or personal experiences. For the audience, it can connect us through emotion and bring us together in times of uncertainty.
What is your favorite thing about the performing arts? I’m a really big fan of stories—written or heard. I love the stories that performances tell with dialogue, the music, and the combination of storytelling through music. Considering my major, I love seeing cause and effect interactions, especially in a production. We watch a story unfold because the actions of one character affected another character in a certain way. Real life is a lot harder, but the idea of chaos from miscommunication is the same. The way we communicate can affect another person’s emotions and how they feel about themselves.