Public Engagement

  • Student

    Seret Scott-Williams

    “I was part of the ’60s generation, which was always protesting something,” reminisces Seret Scott-Williams, a Liberal Arts student in the Bachelor’s Program for Adults and Transfer Students at The New School. Equal parts activist and actor, Seret started college in 1965 and spent three years exploring her interest in theater and expressing her political views. During this time, she joined the New York Free Theater, a troupe that presented street performances designed to raise public awareness about social issues.

    Seret left college to tour with the Free Southern Theater, a group of actors that used drama to educate people about voter registration, integration, and workers’ rights. In the early 1970s, she landed her first leading role, in Ray Aranha’s My Sister, My Sister, a show that eventually made it to Broadway.

    The transition from actor to director came unexpectedly for Seret. Her friend Nancy Fales Garrett had written a play, Some Sweet Day, which was to be performed in Connecticut and for which a director was needed. Garrett recommended Seret to the theater’s artistic director, and she got the job. A positive review in the New York Times gave Seret the recognition she needed to find work directing plays in regional theaters around the country. More recently, she has demonstrated her skill as a playwright with works such as Safe House and Second Line.

    Seret now wants to teach at the college level, and she needs a bachelor’s degree to accomplish this goal. The New School’s wide-ranging curriculum and welcoming atmosphere appealed to Seret, and the fact that she could transfer credits confirmed her decision to enroll in the Bachelor’s Program. “I have worked as a professional director and actor for years, on and off Broadway and in regional theater. At The New School, I choose courses that interest me, and my advisor helps me fit them into the degree I’m structuring.” Seret also received 12 prior learning credits for papers she wrote about her experiences as an actor and director.

    Seret’s favorite part of the program is the interaction in the classroom. “It’s exciting to share ideas with students who are one-third my age. I thought young people would not be interested in my experiences, and I’m finding the opposite.”

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