In a case of life imitating art, Trina Beck has had almost as many roles at Tulane University as she has had on stage. Arriving at Tulane from Massachusetts 16 years ago, Beck started as an admission counselor and then academic adviser before moving into co-curricular programming for Newcomb-Tulane College
, where she now works as assistant dean for programs.
Trina Beck rehearses on stage for her role in Summer Lyric Theater’s production of A Chorus Line. She has been a Tulane staff member for 16 years. (Photo by Sally Asher)
Her transitions between departments at Tulane also echo her transition from ballet dancer and self-proclaimed “band geek” to actor/dancer/singer, all while operating under the same theater umbrella.
It was only after Beck had been living in New Orleans for a few years that she became serious about theater. She used her Tulane tuition waiver to study voice and acting, both of which she considers crucial to her development as a performer.
It also allowed her to work with the legendary Mary Louise Wilson, who was a guest teacher in Advanced Acting.
“I relish the collaborative creative process. We are fortunate to have a wonderful community of theater artists in New Orleans,” Beck says. “I love connecting with my fellow actors on stage and with the audience. It’s a unique relationship that only exists in performance, and it’s exhilarating.
“And I find it’s a great form of therapy to transform yourself into a different human being for two hours; it helps put your own life into perspective.”
Some of the characters Beck has transformed herself into have been Belinda Blair in Noises Off
, Sally Bowles in Cabaret
, and Rosalind in As You Like It
This week, Beck will play a role that requires her to sing, act, and dance — Sheila Bryant, the streetwise and sassy dancer from the Broadway classic A Chorus Line
, presented by the Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre