Meet National Players Tour 72!
Name and pronouns? Where are you from/currently residing?
Ariya Hawkins (She/Her/+) from Chicago, IL
What drew you to theatre?
I had always been drawn to art and performance since both my parents are Hip-Hop artists, but it wasn't until I started taking acting workshops and classes in elementary school that I learned how much I loved theatre! I really enjoyed the sense of community and connection that it brought, even from an early age I knew how powerful it was.
What drew you to National Players?
National Players was my dream job before I even knew that it existed. I was drawn to the touring element, the opportunity to share & teach through workshops, and the idea of being with the same ensemble for a full year was exciting, but I was really captured by NP's mission of sharing theatre with communities that haven't been exposed to our art form yet. It's one thing to perform for audiences that already know and love what we do, it's an entirely different (and more meaningful) thing to give people an opportunity to see that this form of storytelling and sharing belongs to them too.
What are you most looking forward to on the tour?
I'm most looking forward to the workshops we'll get to teach. I've always been fascinated by the work that teaching artists do (especially with young people), and I'm so excited to build skills and practical tools to enhance my own abilities as a teacher.
What do you hope to do after the tour?
After this tour, I plan to return to Chicago to work as an actor and teaching artist, with the hope & goal of going to grad school for Drama Therapy and becoming a Registered Drama Therapist.
What's something you want people to know about you?
I truly believe theatre is one of our greatest tools for self-expression, healing, and understanding the human condition.