Sam Sanderson Stars in IU Theatre Production of Big Fish

Sam Sanderson, senior Musical Theatre major, brought tears to the audience’s eyes when he starred in Big Fish. In his role as Will Bloom, he discovered new aspects of his theatre career that he had never seen before. He continues to bring the knowledge he gained from this role with him as he graduates and searches out his next theatre avenue.

As Will Bloom, Sam had to portray a character going through various stages of life with both positive and negative emotions. Before this role, he saw himself as a performer limited to upbeat and comedic roles. However, he worked diligently to explore this more serious leading character and found that he was capable of so much more.

“On this show, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of building a whole ‘person’ from the ground up, and I continued to ask myself defining questions about my character all the way up to our final performance,” Sam remarks.

He found that some of the most rewarding aspects of this experience were the audience’s reaction and the community that was built throughout the rehearsal process. As anyone who has seen the production knows, Big Fish is a heartwarming production that often brings tears to the audience’s eyes. This emotional reaction encouraged Sam throughout several nights of performances. In addition, it brought the cast together by motivating them to perform at 100% each night.

Sam remarks, “catharsis and the chemistry between audiences and actors are key pillars of why people continue to come to the theatre!”

Even though the production closed after 8 performances, Sam continues to take the lessons he learned from this process into his educational and professional pursuits. He plans to incorporate a new self-care routine that allows him to be fully prepared for daily performances. Also, he has begun to think about pursuing higher education by considering programs offering a Masters in Acting. He believes that these two improvements will enhance his career as a performer.

Sam’s final thoughts about Big Fish  mostly included, “I can’t wait to do it all again!”

By Kasey Cassle
Kasey Cassle Peer Coach Kasey Cassle