Micajah Stude ‘19 has been an indispensable part of Deerfield theater ever since he stepped foot on campus in the fall of 2016. Ever since, he has been known to carry a positive attitude, compassionate spirit, and adaptable personality into every rehearsal. However, as a young and open-minded student, Stude had never envisioned being so involved in the arts at Deerfield, let alone majoring in Theatre in college. As a matter of fact, Stude credits his introduction to theater at Deerfield to classmate Kaycie Sweeney ‘17.
“As a new sophomore, I was originally going to manage JV Girls Soccer. Then, as I was going to class one day, I accidentally tripped in front of the Hess. Sweeney invited me to Acting Lab out of concern. There, I was introduced to Mrs. Hynds. That’s how it all started.”
A week later, he quit managing soccer and officially joined as an Assistant Stage Manager in the play Museum.
It was in Museum where he learned the building blocks of theatre, fulfilling essential roles such as assisting the tech crew. Although Stude didn’t have any lines in Museum, his presence ensured the play ran smoothly.
Thereafter, Stude joined the spring play, Twelve. Twelve revolved around the idea of showcasing the struggles and triumphs of Deerfield students. This was the first time Stude and the cast struggled with a play’s structural integrity and presentability. He said, “It was really stressful because we didn’t know what we were doing. We spent rehearsals writing stories of our childhood and how that tied to our Deerfield experiences. There wasn’t a beginning, middle, and ending. This was my first experience in a play where I had trouble following.”
However, Stude gained valuable experiences from Twelve. “I learned to get out of my comfort zone in theatre.” Despite the lack of conventional structure in Twelve, Stude embraced the challenge and performed in the play.
Then came You Can’t Take it With You, a play set in the Great Depression. Stude said that the play consisted of one of the closest ensembles with a wide range of talent and skill. “The play included Mrs. Hynds, seniors such as Charlie Pink ‘18, Amelia Evans ‘18, Maddie Wasson ‘18, juniors such as Protik Nandy ‘19 and Peter Everett ‘19, and even new students Wilona Wiafe ‘21 and Grey Holmen ‘21.”
Through You Can’t Take it With You, Stude learned both how to play a xylophone as well as the importance of empathizing with his character. Stude’s character, Ed, was silly and playful, allowing Stude to integrate some of Ed’s traits into his personal philosophy: “I learned that sometimes it’s okay to be a fool and let yourself go once in a while.”
During his junior winter, Stude performed Big Love by Charles Mee. Stude recounted his experience being cast as Juliano, saying, “I really didn’t like playing Juliano; it was really stressful. I was nervous for many reasons. It was hard to play a gay character because some people had difficulty separating a character and an actor.”
While playing Juliano, Stude felt a degree of discomfort and vulnerability; however, he also learned how to be a sensitive and caring person.
“The reason I really think I got into acting was because I could leave Micajah in his dorm for two hours a day without his homework and stress. As a result, I like to separate my character and myself as much as possible. It’s so important to recognize the similarities, but focus on the differences of the two because that’s what acting is really about.”
Unsurprisingly, Twelve Angry Jurors taught Stude similar lessons. Through the lens of Juror 8, Stude commented, “I learned to stand up for what you think is right. Although this might sound cliché and boring, I wouldn’t say I was as opinionated before Twelve Angry Jurors as I am now, for better or worse.”
Stude will end his involvement with the Deerfield Theatre Program as Professor Plum in Clue.
“We’ll see where that goes,” Stude said. “He is sort of an egotistical narcissist, so I hope I don’t take too much of his qualities with me.”
Stude has played a pivotal role in many plays throughout his time at Deerfield, leaving a mark on many of his fellow members in the Theater Department.
Alexa Brown ‘19, who is currently also involved in Clue, said, “In the two years that I’ve known Micajah, he’s been one of the most essential members of the theatre program. I literally couldn’t imagine doing theatre without him and I couldn’t imagine the program being anywhere near the same if he wasn’t a part of it. He’s an inspiration to all of the younger ensemble members. He is such a great friend and I’m so lucky to get to work with him every day!”