Name: Emma Cunningham
Hometown: Voorheesville, N.Y.
Year in School: Sophomore
Major: Theatre (Bachelor of Arts)
When Emma Cunningham decided to leave her hometown of Voorheesville, N.Y., to attend Coastal Carolina University, our campus immediately gained a talented and unique individual. A sophomore theatre student, Emma is a person who will wow you with her diverse skills and captivate you with her eccentric interests. To put it simply, she has quite the story.
But let’s start with why Emma is at CCU. The theatre program enticed her to move 800 miles away from home, but not because she had dreams of starring in Broadway plays. She is part of the Bachelor of Arts academic path, a program that is designed for students who want to study more than one area of theatre. Emma’s interests align with the behind the scenes work necessary to make the magic of performing arts possible. She is part of the Theatre Arts Production Studio (TAPS), helping to build the sets for the productions at Coastal. Her most rewarding show so far? “Steel Pier.”
“Working on Steel Pier was such a great learning experience because there was so much that went into it. There was welding, there was carpentry, there was the task of setting things to fly in and out of the stage,” Emma says, mentioning that she was able to improve her skills in some areas while also learning completely new ones.
Emma is involved at Coastal outside of her academic discipline. She plays on the CCU Quidditch team, is part of the CCU Scuba Club and is a member of Studio 54 (film club). Becoming heavily involved has taught her a lot about herself.
“CCU has had a positive impact on me because it has showed me that the only boundaries I have are the ones I set on myself,” says Emma. “As long as I am not afraid to jump over those boundaries or break through those boundaries I can do anything I put my mind to.”
Emma is boundary-free when it comes to her personal passion. Although it might be unfamiliar to some, Emma has empowered herself over the years through “mermaiding,” a hobby that revolves around participants dressing in mermaid apparel. To those who embrace it, the benefits are numerous.
“It’s been a really magical ride. I started mermaiding because it was a way for me to express myself outside of school and everyday life,” Emma explains. “When I put the mermaid tail on I was able to become my true self and it felt like I was freeing my soul a little bit.”
Emma will continue to stay true to herself, not just with her mermaid ambitions, but with her future plans as well. A movie buff, she would like to attend graduate film school. We hope Emma continues to chase what makes her happy and we thank her for adding some extra personality to our campus.
Q&A with Emma
How did you hear about Coastal?: I heard about CCU through Google.
Why did you come to Coastal?: The weather!
Favorite class: I can't choose because all my classes are so much fun this semester. I love them all!
Favorite aspect of Coastal?: The efforts toward sustainability and the vegan food options.
Clubs/Intramurals/other extracurricular activities involved in?: Club Quidditch, Studio 54 (film club), CCU Scuba Club
Do you work anywhere currently (either on or off campus)?: TAPS (Theater Arts Production Studio). I help build the sets for the productions put on at Coastal.
Plans after graduation?: Volunteer on a sea shepherd ship and then maybe go to a graduate film school.
What are your hobbies?: Cooking/creating vegan dishes, mermaiding, making movies, hanging out with friends.
Do you have any hidden talents?: I can blow bubble rings underwater
Bonus Info: I am vegan and I love being a mermaid. During the summer I go to the Bethlehem YMCA as a mermaid and play with the summer camp kids teaching them about the ocean.