I discover a lot of life when I listen and watch from the background. Given a choice, I grab a quiet spot on the perimeter of a room and just observe.
I get a front-row seat to every story in the room—a guy delivers a pick-up line that falls flat; a little girl sneaks cookie after cookie into her little purse while her mom talks intently with a friend.
Occasionally, I’ll even catch eyes with another person like me. We’ll exchange quiet nods, and never need to say a word. We understand each other.
Wallflowers like myself can be hard to know. Sure, it’s great to avoid the risks of being noticed. Nobody laughs when I stumble over a rug on my way to the drink table, and nobody comments on my pitch when I’m singing in the shower. Nobody can judge the person they don’t see or hear.
But if I’m really honest, there are days when I look back and wish I’d mustered the courage to be seen.
I’m proud of our department’s outstanding people and excellent academic record. Much like me, JBU MT (Music & Theatre) has flown under the radar—not many people know what we do, how we do it, and why. And while we may have avoided the judgement that comes with the spotlight, we have also missed out on the beauty of being known.
Today, we choose to step forward and be seen. Today, we choose to be known.
On these pages you’ll find reflections, discoveries, and stories from students, faculty and alumni. In everything, you’ll find evidence of our passions for music, theatre, worship, liberal arts, and the Kingdom of God. You’ll also find a lot of honesty, some laughs and maybe even a few tears.
So, join us. Ask questions. Walk a day in our shoes.
And we can choose to be known together.
~ Jen Edwards
Jen Edwards is the Head of the Department of Music & Theatre at John Brown University.