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Throwback Thursday: 7th Edition ft. Melissa Richter

This week’s edition of Throwback Thursday: Rose Edition features Melissa Richter! She is new to The Rose this year as the School and Group Services Coordinator–but don’t be mistaken, Melissa has worked and helped at The Rose for years prior to this season! But we are glad to now have her as a full-time staff member!

As the School and Group Services Coordinator she does just that! She is the person who arranges school field trips, group trips and other such events. She has a lot on her plate as she arranges arrival times, unloading and loading schedules for school buses. Things wouldn’t run nearly as smoothly without her!

That being said, let’s talk about her first experience with theater. This is, after all, a throwback! When we asked her to share her first theatrical experience with she told us:

“I come from a small town in Northwest Iowa, and each year the high school puts on a variety show at the end of the year. The band plays, there are singers, dancers, and my favorite: short acting pieces. The first matinee of this variety show I got to attend was when I was in 2nd grade. I remember sitting very close to the stage and being awestruck by all of the different talents on display. I remember wishing that I could be a 9th grader the next year so that I could be in the show. I even convinced my parents to take me to the show two more  times that weekend.”

It seems that from a young age, theater has been a huge part of Melissa’s life. But rather than speculate, we asked her just how theater has impacted and changed her life. Her response:

“Theater empowers me to try and always put myself in someone else’s shoes.  I think theater gives you such a unique opportunity to not only think about what it might be like to be in someone else’s circumstances, but as an actor you get to really understand it by literally walking in a character’s shoes. And when that actor does their job, the audience can feel those emotions, shown by the actor, themselves. 

Theater also gives me self-confidence. Theater can transport you as far as Neverland or as close as your own backyard. You meet characters whom you might feel are your polar opposite, and characters who could be your twin. Each and every character is needed for a show to be successful, and every great character has flaws. That idea empowers me to be myself; because just like a good play, the world needs lots of different and unique characters, all of whom have flaws; and that’s okay.”

One of the most important things that theater can teach people is how to understand others better, and how to understand themselves in order to be more of their own-self rather than a replica of someone else.  That’s a truly great thing to learn!

Thank you so much Melissa for sharing your insights into theater and how it is able to positively impact the lives of those who participate.


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