The connections you make on campus don't stay just on campus; they stay for life, especially if these are people you respect as artists.

Diego Chiri '12

The burgeoning theater career of Diego Chiri '12 has been touched and influenced by Bucknell in many ways. But one moment had a greater impact than he could have imagined.

As a senior, Chiri, a native of Peru who majored in theater and English, took Audition Technique, a class intended to prepare students for life in professional theater. One day, Professor Anjalee Deshpande Hutchinson suggested that Chiri check out New York City's Repertorio Español (Spanish Repertory Theater).

“That small comment made all the difference,” he says.

After graduation, Chiri moved to New York City and joined a widespread community of Bucknell artists there. He also took another look at the repertory theater and learned about its directing fellowship. Within two years of graduation, he landed Repertorio Español's prestigious Van Lier Fellowship for emerging Hispanic directors and an opportunity to mount two professional productions in Spanish.

“To be able to direct an off-Broadway production just a few years after graduating is wonderful,” he says. “I knew I wanted to direct theater professionally, but I didn't imagine it would happen so fast after school.”

As his career has blossomed, Chiri has sought other Bucknell collaborators. For La Gran Semíramis, the play he directed this summer, he recruited Professor Jason McCluskey, Spanish. McCluskey had introduced Chiri to the 400-year-old piece in class at Bucknell and provided an English translation of the play for the New York production. Bianca Roman '10 led the choreography. The success of that play, which had never been performed in the U.S., led Chiri directly to another role as an assistant director at Repertorio and encouraged him to continue seeking collaborations with Bucknellians.

Says Chiri, “The connections you make on campus don't stay just on campus; they stay for life, especially if these are people you respect as artists.”

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