Caroline loves nuclear radiation.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Caroline Egler, Barnard College, American Studies and Theater, San Diego, California. 

Claim to fame: The 130th Annual Varsity Show: MAYDAY, popularizing the day Sunday, and overusing the word “famously.” 

Where are you going? Onwards, always. 

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2028: 

1. Trust your gut and take the leap. College is a unique place where you have a pretty steady safety net to make big swings. I have struck out a number of times and still feel exceptionally proud of the work I got to do. The more you follow what you want, the more often you get to do it. 

2. This is meant to be hard. It is easy to fail alone and hard to fail when you ask for help. There are innumerable systems in place to support you, lean on them. It only gets impossible when you go in alone. Ask. For. Help. 

3. Art is worth doing. WARNING!! PRETENTIOUS: I got my degree in Theatre because there is worth in the act of creating new, exciting works that breathe in the same room as their audiences. The meaning of life is getting to experience and share the world with others. Theatre allows you to feel that in real time. 

“Back in my day…” you got an email telling you that first-year housing was canceled when you were already halfway across the country to start your first day of NSOP. 

Favorite Columbia lore? The radiation filled tunnels under campus! I <3 nuclear radiation! 

What was your favorite class at Columbia? 

Here are three! 

1. Shakespeare in America with Professor James Shapiro 

a. Anyone who knows me knows I love Professor Shapiro. His wit, his candid storytelling, his understanding of the plays, and his high standards made this class stand out of my time at Columbia. I took it in a semester where I was completely overwhelmed with simply an avalanche of work and always put this class first. I feel so lucky to have been one of his students. Yay Shakespeare! 2. Sondheim with Professor Mana Allen 

a. I took this class the fall Sondheim passed away. The class itself was wonderful but the opportunity to communally grieve his passing was so profound and made the experience as a whole so much more impactful. Mana is such a terrific human being and the class itself was such a cathartic expression of musical theatre. 

3. Directing II with Professor Alice Reagan 

a. I fell in love with directing in this class. I had taken Directing I and was becoming familiar with what it takes to become a director, but this class and my classmates

truly changed my life. I was not a great director heading into that class (and some argue I am still not) but I was able to get a wide range of feedback and criticism that allowed me to grow in a dynamic and fulfilling way. 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? 

I would give up both because I am selfless and brave. Leaders, famously, eat last. 

Whom would you like to thank? 

People: My family. My friends. The casts, crews, and audiences of V130, One Flea Spare, Matilda, Sunday in the Park with George, The Appeal, Hamlet, Stiff Competition, and Rocky Horror. Attendees of KCST Sunday Rehearsal (past, present, and future). Julia Ruth Patella for sharpening my blocking. Lauren Unterberger for writing the line, “There’s a reason I hate Columbia and there’s a reason I go here still.” Grace McCormick for watching Veep with me. Anyone who I didn’t mention by name because I couldn’t think of a cute anecdote but knows I love them. 

Places: Fourth floor of Milstein, right side of low steps, the Perch in Lerner, JJ’s after 10 pm, Wang Pavillion/The Party Space, Milbank 229, the Riverside rose gardens, Math 520, the Glicker-Milstein Theatre, the Barnard Greenhouse, the mural at the entrance to Butler, the Design Center, the Drama Book Shop, Fumo, LL2, the red chairs on First Floor Diana, and Sulz Tower rooms. 

Things: The big architecture books in Avery, the chalk in Math 520, pilot G-2 gel pens, disco balls, Wu and Nuss blueberry bagel with plain cream cheese and an iced coffee; the fake bird sounds they play at night in the springtime, AMC A-List membership, red ribbons, the small piles of salt on Low, and the Roaree statue outside of Math. 

One thing to do before graduating: Go to KCST Sunday Rehearsal, do CMTS 24 hour, and see the Varsity Show! That’s all one thing, right? 

Any regrets? Sure! That’s what made it worth doing!