Find Me in the Shadows: Annual Dance Concert a Student and Faculty Collaboration

Posted Nov 11, 2022

This year’s annual dance concert was conceived by senior Emily Baggarly, a bachelor of fine arts – musical theatre major. Baggarly, who hails from Claremont, CA, initially pitched the concept for a student workshop, but Artistic Director Stella Kane wanted to produce her work on a higher level.

“I found the details were vivid and intriguing and I thought that her story needed to be told on the Fritsche Theatre stage for the entire community to see, not simply in the classroom for her peers,” Stella said.

When creating Find Me in the Shadows, Baggarly was inspired by Carl Jung, author of the theory that the shadow is the unconscious dark side of the personality. “I received a Cardinal Grant to study abroad in Vienna, where I was able to analyze how this psychological theory informs all types of art,” she said. “While in reality, you can’t see another person’s psychological shadow, we are going to put the murder suspect’s shadows onstage for the audience to see. The shadows in this production represent what is happening inside the character’s head.”

Baggarly had previously experimented with the use of shadow in choreography during her sophomore year for a class final presentation in a small, intimate space. “The (theatre) design technology major who worked on it with me asked if I could restage the piece in Cowan Hall. But the stage was so big, I wasn’t sure my intimate piece would translate well to that theater. So, over that summer I came up with a different concept that could use the shadows in a dynamic way as well as create many opportunities for design technology students and student choreographers,” Baggarly explained.

The concert is a vast display of the Otterbein Theatre and Dance students’ talent and collaboration with department faculty. In addition to Baggarly’s work in creating a vision for the concert, she is also one of the choreographers, along with students from the advanced choreography class. Students are also actively involved as costume and lighting designers in collaboration with resident faculty designers Rebecca White and T.J. Gerckens.

“This is the first mainstage dance concert created by a class of student choreographers, and they have all added the colors and intonation of exciting storytelling. This is the collaboration of so many gifted and passionate artists across the spectrum of making art,” Kane said.

As we near opening night, Baggarly is excited for an audience to see the result of a lot of hard work. “To have what I wrote be made to scale by faculty who are the top in our industry and artists I’ve looked up to for years is very special. And my peers are just incredible artists, choreographers, and story tellers. It is a very emotional way to wrap up my senior year.”

The Otterbein University Departments of Theatre and Dance presents “Dance 2022: Find Me in the Shadows” at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17; 8 p.m. on Nov. 18 and 19; and 2 p.m. on Nov. 20 in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville. Tickets cost $22. Call 614-823-1109 or visit

The box office is open 12-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to performances. It is located in Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville.