Murphy to take the spotlight at Ithaca College


Provided by Colby Murphy

Murphy performs as Mr. Krabbs in the SpongeBob Musical last year.

Shaivi Shah, Staff Writer

For seven years, senior Colby Murphy has had a passion for theater. When he tried out and got in for the Blanchard Theatre Arts production of Grease, that was when the journey started for him. Although he was only a dancer of an ensemble role, Murphy loved the idea of being on stage, under the lights; he was proud of himself that there was a selected cast and he had gotten a part in it. From there on, Murphy knew that theatre was his forte and decided to major in theater studies.

After being in several musicals and plays during his high school time, Murphy has made his final decision in going to Ithaca College in New York and was drawn to directorial studies and dramaturge, which include interpreting, editing, and adapting musicals and plays, because he wanted to explore the widths of directing big or small productions. He still wants to participate and act in productions, but he wants to focus his interest in directing first.

“Even though I’m going for theater studies, I’d still like to be a part of the smaller productions or even some of the bigger productions,” Murphy said. “I’ve never directed musicals, [but] I would love to. I’ve directed only plays, which are still fun in themselves.”

Although Murphy applied to seven colleges, he decided that Ithaca was the best for him. He found out about Ithaca through a friend who attended and graduated from there.

“I checked [Ithaca College] out and when I got there I knew I wanted to be there,” Murphy said. “It’s an amazing area and the program is one of the best in the U.S.”

In all of his time in high school, Murphy has participated in eleven WATA productions, including musicals, plays, and Blackbox shows. Murphy’s first breakthrough performance was last year’s SpongeBob: The Musical, which the Performance Arts teacher, Michael Towers, recognizes.

“he had a really, really strong growth run in the summer rising into his junior year. And then he just built right on the back of that with his role in SpongeBob,” Towers said. “So that was his biggest growth spurt, that summer of his junior year.”

Towers has been a great influence on Murphy; he has returned back to his theater classes mainly because of the atmosphere Towers has created for all of his theater students.

“Mr. Towers is a great leader and he’s so fun to work with, which makes the room even better.” Murphy said.

Towers has noticed Murphy’s hard work and dedication to theater arts. He has seen Murphy progress in a steady incline throughout his four years at WA; Murphy has been able to develop confidence in himself and his skill set, according to Towers.

“[Murphy is] a dedicated theater student, […] a person who has worked here co-curricularly, and very diligently. He spends much of his time in this school year dedicated to theater […],” Towers said. “Colby’s year could exceed what some students in other systems and other spaces might achieve in their entire four-year career.”

Theater has changed Murphy’s life. He met his long-time friends through theater and learned how to communicate and learn from others. Murphy believes that theater is about the whole group, rather than the individual. He makes sure that looking out for each member is a vital aspect of art.

“I’d love to be able to direct some shows and work on productions and from a directorial standpoint as either assistant director or dramaturg,” Murphy said.