Though Anna Hibbert classifies herself as “introverted and socially anxious,” her accomplishments within the theatre department tell a different story.
“The way I look at it is, it’s a lot easier for me to go on stage and be a character than it is for me to go as myself,” she said.
Hibbert loved participating in theatre in high school and knew she didn’t want to give theatre up when she went to college.
“At most universities, in order to participate in theatre you have to be a theatre major, and it’s pretty difficult to double major,” Hibbert said. “I knew that I wouldn’t only do theatre, but I couldn’t completely cut it out of my life, so the fact that you do not have to be a theatre major to participate in theatre at Wake Forest was really a big pull because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.”
Ultimately, Hibbert decided to major in theatre anyway, but is also pursuing a double major with computer science. The combination is a unique one, but her computer science background has helped her become more multifaceted as it relates to the production aspect of theatre.
“I think it’s made me a better sound designer because I understand the more technological side,” she said. “It makes more sense to me because I have that background that most other people do not have.”
Hibbert sound-designed her own student-directed show this past semester and brought it to the Southeastern Theatre Conference for a sound and design competition, where she won first place. For her, this prize was the culmination of all her hard work throughout the past four years.
Upon arriving at Wake Forest, Hibbert recalls finding her place on campus right from the beginning after watching the freshman orientation Wake World performance, which she has now been part of for the past three years, and it’s the one thing she wishes she could stay and do again.
She has also developed personal relationships with professors in the theatre department, particularly Cynthia Gendrich and Kevin Frazier.
“Anna is such a good, authentic human being, and she has been an extraordinary contributor to our theatre program,” Gendrich said. “From leading the student theatre organization, the Anthony Aston Players, to acting in, sound designing, and stage managing many shows over the past four years, she has spent her life in Scales, making art.”
Frazier has worked with Hibbert in the classroom, as a mentor for her sound design work and as her adviser for the Anthony Aston Players, of which she is president.
“As a storyteller, her work is consistently impressive, and I enjoyed mentoring her on several projects,” Frazier said. “Whether it’s on stage, designing, or in a position of leadership, I know that Anna will bring a strong contribution to the next generation of the American Theatre.”
Frazier also noted Hibbert’s desire to raise the professionalism of the Anthony Aston Players and her constant striving to leave things better off than she found them.
Hibbert accepted a sound and production design apprenticeship at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., and will be moving there this summer. She looks forward to meeting professionals from New York and Chicago, so she can learn more about the professional theatre scene. Though her goal right now is to pursue the arts for a while, she isn’t ruling out the possibility of going to graduate school for computer science in the future.
Theatre has undoubtedly shaped Hibbert’s experience at Wake Forest and will continue to shape her long after graduation.