Artist of the Issue: Emily Heimer ’21


Scott Barrow

Heimer performs in the HDA production of The Tempest.

Emily Heimer ’21 is a four-year Senior and co-head of the Hotchkiss Humane Society, ink., and the Multi-Racial Student Union. Heimer is also a board member of Hillel and the Hotchkiss Drama Association (HDA). 

How did you become interested in theater?

Before I came to Hotchkiss, I was mainly a visual artist. I did a lot of sculpture work and acrylic painting. In middle school, I started to sing in musical theater. But when I came to Hotchkiss, I took Prep Theater. I performed in the musical and started to take an interest in theater, so I went on a summer trip where we learned about Shakespeare. At that time, I had been planning on switching to Lower Mid visual art, but the people on the trip convinced me to continue studying theatre. I realized the importance of sharing stories on stage, and that started to get me more interested in acting instead of singing. The same year, I was in the winter production of Hay Fever, and I was also in a Black Box in the spring. Lower Mid Theatre was when I transitioned from musical theatre to theatre.

What motivates you to do theater?

It is the audience that motivates me. When the audience looks at you, you can tell that they can’t see you anymore; they only see the character. Sometimes when I perform, I make eye contact with someone in the audience, and I can tell that they don’t see Emily. It is such an addictive feeling. I remember after Hay Fever, this little girl walked up to me after the show and asked for my autograph. Ever since then I have felt powerful. Theatre is really about being able to tell a story to the audience in a way that they have never seen before and surprise them. 

What advice would you give to new artists?

Keep auditioning and auditioning forever. 

Have you faced any challenges with theater especially with Covid-19 and how have you overcome them?

I have also found that with COVID-19 it’s harder to get people involved, because we can’t have Black Box productions. The main thing we worked on was the Festival of Fables. Over the summer, Mr. Parker Reed, instructor in theatre, and I thought about how we could do something outside with a smaller audience. Because the play was a promenade, we could perform outside with a smaller audience and get more people, not just actors, involved by inviting people to write plays. That was one way we combated the restrictions. While it is hard to work as a team with COVID-19 restrictions, I think when everyone is focused on the art, we end up creating the best possible product. As long as we are working towards the same goal, the play will work out. 

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.