Getting to Know You: Arika Richardson
In a company full of theater artists, it may be surprising to know that not everyone on our staff was bit by the “theater bug”. Arika Richardson is one of those people. Joining us as the Development Associate this past summer, she holds a degree in Advertising and Public Relations from UCF and has an extreme passion for nonprofits. Previously, she’s spent time as a Membership Coordinator for our Loch Haven neighbor, the Orlando Science Center, and as a Volunteer Docent at The Central Florida Zoo.
While you may not see Arika on stage anytime soon, you will always see her in the audience. From ballet to theater to Disney on Ice, her parents exposed her to cultural events growing up, instilling her with a deep appreciation for the arts. She carried this with her to college, founding the Lady Knights—a social club in which young women attend arts and culture events and volunteer their time in the community.
Her appreciation for being exposed to the arts as a child has also inspired her to spearhead our current “Be a Peach” Power2Give Campaign, which will provide Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Florida mentors and their “littles” with free tickets to our upcoming productions, including James and the Giant Peach. We’ve reached 45% of our goal for the campaign, which ends January 30th! (For details or to make a donation, click here.)
Another project Arika is looking forward to working on is our 7th Annual Mock Trial: The Trial of the Merry Wives of Windsor on February 24th. “Because it’s all improv, it’s totally unpredictable and will be very fun to watch!” she said. Ironically, the first thing Arika ever saw at Orlando Shakes was 2011’s 3rd Annual Mock Trial (Darcy vs. Wickham) as part of a group outing with—you guessed it—her Lady Knights. (Talk about coming full circle!)
One of Arika’s favorite memories at OST so far was assisting the marketing department in filming our Les Miz flashmob. “I got goosebumps watching them sing ‘One Day More’ in the Mall at Millenia. Everyone was so good!” When she’s not at work, attending arts events, or watching movies, you can most likely find Arika playing with her rescued kitten Vesper.
It takes all kinds to run a theater—not just actors, designers, and directors. Sometimes the secret ingredient is people like Arika, who simply share their profound appreciation for the arts with everyone they come in contact with.
Melissa Landy, Public Relations Coordinator