The Character, Chelsea Dygan

Chelsea Dygan

Chelsea Dygan is quite the character—in the complicated way only a super-smart actor can be. She is at once silly and clever, vulnerable and brave, goofy and gorgeous. In recent Annie Russell Theatre seasons, she has played stern Sister Aloysius in Doubt, hilarious Felicia in I Hate Hamlet, and fairy queen Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, true characters all.

But she’s discovered that she’s wild for the kind of quirky roles that only come unscripted.

“Improv is my passion. It has made me more playful, bolder, a better communicator, more trusting,” said Dygan, who performs with Rollins Improv Players and serves on its team of directors. She also recently worked on a collaborative research project with David Charles, associate professor of theatre arts and dance, as a dramaturgical researcher on a long-form improvisation inspired by classical tragedies. Titled It’s All Greek to Me, the production is slated to take the stage in the 2010 season. Charles said he was fortunate to have worked alongside a student with such talent.

“Chelsea is an undeniable audience favorite with Rollins Improv Players,” Charles said. “It is her fearlessness on and off the stage, her attention to detail and nuance, and her passion and drive for excellence that make her an ideal Cornell Scholar and theatre major alike.”

In addition to her Honors courses and theater projects, Dygan works for the trapeze group Aerial Angels as their booking and publicity agent (she’s too afraid of heights to join the act, however) and she performs in local fundraisers, all of which put her passion to good use.

“My life goal,” she said, “is to improvise all day, every day.”

Sounds like an excellent skillset for a busy Cornell Scholar.

Major: Theatre
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Little-known fact: Had a pet chicken (“Courka”)
So relates to: Comedienne Tina Fey
Would rather be… picking raspberries at her family’s hunting camp in Pennsylvania
Favorite literary character: Amelia Bedelia
Known for: Freckles
Admits to… being terrified of heights
Favorite toy as a child: Zippy the Monkey (still has it)
You did what? Jumped in Lake Virginia in the middle of the night
Breakfast: Coffee
Favorite quote: “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” (Charlie Chaplin)
Dream job: Acting role on The Office

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