Who are you and what significant contributions have you made to the organization?
My name is Alexa Salotti, and I graduated from SJU in 2021. I am a very proud alum of both Chappell Players Theatre Group and Alpha Psi Omega. My journey with CPTG began as Dramaturg for Boeing Boeing in 2018, and from there it was history. I went on to be a Production Assistant, an Assistant Stage Manager, and led as a Stage Manager multiple times. I was the first CPTG SM to navigate a fully virtual production, and SM’d two productions in the same show season. I also had the opportunity to perform onstage!
How was the transition from college to the real world? How was life after graduation?
Academically, there was not much of a transition for me. I started taking classes full-time at Montclair State University in their M.A. Clinical Psychology Program. I am now submitting applications to Doctoral Clinical Psychology programs for Fall 2023. The social aspect of post-graduation life is what took a long time to get used to. I live in New Jersey, and a lot of my friends are still in New York as well as in California and Maryland. Instead of eating every meal together, we started planning dinners weeks or months in advance. It took a lot of adjustment, but there is no distance nor amount of time that could keep us apart. When we get back together, it is as if we had never been apart in the first place.
Did being involved in the Chappell Players prepare you for life after college? How so?
Without a doubt, the work that I did with CPTG set me up for bigger opportunities in the professional world. Recently, I was given the leadership role of a Research Coordinator at MSU in which I set up my contact, availability, and scheduling sheets in the same way that I organized them as a SM. The ability to lead a team, the ability to work within a team, and the utilization of professional communication are imperative in any career (particularly mine), and I commend my mastery of those skills to my time with CPTG.
What is your favorite CPTG memory or performance?
During my time as Stage Manager for A Zoom With Seuss, one of the schools that the cast performed for was, at the time, my current and future classes of Pre-K students in NJ. When I went back to teach them at the end of the school year, the kids would constantly ask me how I came to be best friends with The Cat in the Hat (Michael De Risi ’22) and Thing 402 (Christopher Alessandro ’22). It was a beautiful moment in the sense that we were able to create this wonderful moment of pure magic and awe-struck wonder for the students that hold a very special place in my heart. I’ll never forget it.
Have you been able to remain involved with theatre as much as you hoped/wanted?
I am SO thankful to say YES! I have co-written two original one-act plays with two of my amazing best friends whom I met through CPTG, Madeline Bonsignore ’20 and Christopher Alessandro ’22 . Our first show, The Saltoni Paranormal Palooza, was onstage at The Little Theatre last year for APO’s An Evening Of One Acts, and our second show, A Stellernarious Encounter, will be onstage for this year’s production! It makes me immensely happy that we are able to continue doing what brought us together in the first place.
Do you have any advice for Chappell Players going through college or those who have recently graduated?
My advice to CPTG members still in college is to cherish every single moment here. It will not hit you until you are walking across the stage at graduation how fast time flies while you are performing at The Little Theatre. One day you’re planning where your friends will celebrate closing night, the next you’re planning their bridal crew outfits for your wedding. It will go by fast, so make every second last. Be fearless, be bold, and be resilient. Sign up for that committee, run in that election, go to that audition, and accept that tech position. Don’t sell yourself short! My advice to my fellow CPTG alumni is to remember that no matter how far we may go, we will always share the sanctuary that is The Little Theatre. While life may get busy, never let it keep you from your passion for the arts and love of the theater.