“… [arts courses] profoundly changed the way I think about theater, and especially about the role of empathy in storytelling; they also made me a stronger communicator, a better theater-maker, and a happier, more hopeful person.”
— Natalia Orlovsky ’22
Natalia Orlovsky, a molecular biology concentrator from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, has been named the Class of 2022 valedictorian at Princeton University.
Over the course of her undergraduate career, Orlovsky has proved herself an extraordinary scholar and research scientist. Outside of coursework, she has nurtured her strong interest in the arts by participating in theater productions and writing short stories and poetry. Her pieces have appeared in literary journals, and she served on the board of the student group Theater Intime. Orlovsky has acted in several theater productions on campus, including the Program in Theater’s production of Lia, a new play written by Meigan Clark ’22 based loosely on Shakespeare’s Hamlet that tells Ophelia’s untold story. In Lia, Orlovsky portrayed the role of Mom to character Lia, played by Eliyana Abraham ’23.
“I’m interested in theater — and, for that matter, in creative writing — primarily because I like to devise and tell stories,” she said.
Within the English Department and theater program, Orlovsky studied modern and world drama classes taught by playwright and long-time lecturer in theater Robert N. Sandberg (Class of 1970), who retired last spring.
Speaking about her experience studying theater, Orlovsky notes that taking these arts courses “profoundly changed the way I think about theater, and especially about the role of empathy in storytelling; they also made me a stronger communicator, a better theater-maker, and a happier, more hopeful person.”
Learn more about Orlovsky and salutatorian Frances Mangina on the Princeton University news page »