Niccolo Moretti '10
I'm a double major in theater and religion. When I first chose my majors the two didn't intersect for me. I chose to be a theater major because directing and acting were always what I've wanted to pursue, and I chose religion because it connected a number of academic interests for me. I saw religion as an intersection of philosophy, history, politics, and literature and it seemed increasingly relevant both politically and personally. Furthermore, I admired the professors in the department and I felt like I was missing out if I wasn't taking at least one religion class a semester.
As I studied both fields more, I realized that my studies in religion were influencing the plays I was interested in, and vice versa. I was drawn to plays like Joseph Chaikin's The Serpent and works by Tony Kushner like Angels in America, A Bright Room Called Day and Only We Who Guard the Mystery Shall be Unhappy - plays which would explore religious narratives through character's lives and examine contemporary political situations through a religious lens. I also became more interested in religious narratives, how traditions reinterpreted stories in different ways throughout their histories. One of my favorite courses was Holy War & Martyrdom, which examined the history and changing conceptions of martyrdom and holy wars within Christianity, Islam, and Judaism over the past 2,000 years.
Currently, I have just finished my acting thesis The Island by Athol Fugard, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona, the story of two prisoners on Robben Island during Apartheid South Africa. I am now working on my directing thesis, The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney, a play about forgiveness, peace, and reconciliation set during the Trojan War. I'm also in the middle of a seminar, Gender and Sexuality in the Hebrew Bible, where we are doing close readings of the Hebrew Bible and examining modern queer and feminist exegetes' responses and interpretations of the biblical stories.
Though I'm sad that soon I'll be leaving the Religion Department, I am happy with the range and depth of my studies here and for all that the department has exposed me to.