Like many artistic alumni, Theo Salter '07 came to Bowdoin with an interest in developing his passion for theater and taking advantage of the academic diversity that Bowdoin has to offer.

"My interest in the performing arts started a long time before Bowdoin," Salter said. "Although it certainly grew at Bowdoin in many different ways. I actually majored in European history with a religion minor. My acting was very much an extra-curricular."

While focusing on history and religion academically, Salter gained several invaluable acting experiences at Bowdoin that shaped his understanding of the type of commitment and dedication necessary to make it in the world of the performing arts.

Salter traced this back to the very first acting experience he had at Bowdoin: playing a supporting role in the student play "She Stoops to Conquer."

"My role in 'She Stoops to Conquer' was no huge commitment, but having the opportunity to see juniors and seniors putting something together all on their own was a very empowering and motivating experience," Salter said.

In addition to working on several other productions while at Bowdoin, Salter points to his lead role in "800 Words: The Transmigration of Philip K. Dick" during his sophomore year as his biggest and most formative college acting experience.

Cast as Philip K. Dick, Salter said the experience was an "exhaustive process, with three or four hours of rehearsal a night. It also exists for me as that...moment where I realized I could take on a big role and do it justice. Naturally, you always think you can do something better after you've done it, but that was an incredible experience, being able to work with [Acting Chair of Theater and Dance] Sonja Moser on her first project at Bowdoin and really investing myself in a very heady play. It was an experience that certainly and whole-heartedly looped me back into the world of acting."

Salter also relished in the opportunity to work with Saratoga International Theatre Institute (SITI) Company during the spring of his junior year. During this semester, Salter took two intensive and rigorous theater training courses with J. Ed. Araiza, one of the nation's leading theater innovators from the SITI Company.

The culminating experience of taking those two intensive courses was creating and putting on an original show entitled "The Water Project."

"It was an unbelievable experience," Salter said of working with Araiza. "'The Water Project' was essentially a synthesis of different people's scenes of life inside the Bowdoin bubble—of what mattered to us at the time and of trying to convey our experiences. So, although parts of it thematically bordered on being a little bit tacky, the training and the writing and the level of commitment it took really showed me the degree to which one needed to work if you were going to try to make it on the performance side. It definitely established a new level for me in terms of effort in acting."

Upon graduating in the spring of 2007, Salter was ready to pursue acting beyond colleges.

"I had come to understand that what I really loved was acting and I thought that I had enough talent and skill that if I really devoted myself to it I could do it," Salter said.

With that intention, Salter moved to New York City and began interning for a Broadway production company that he said was "retrospectively an incredible experience. I really learned about theater production in New York, the nuts and bolts."

At the time, Salter was also taking part time classes for theater and, after meeting with company directors and talking with casting agents, understood that he "hadn't gotten the most full-on theater education that [he] would need."

With that in mind, in September 2008, Salter enrolled in the two-year conservatory program at Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

"Studying at Stella Adler has been and continues to be another exhaustive and very intensive acting experience," he said. "It has also been one that has reaffirmed my knowledge of what I need to do in order to stay sharp and stand out against the swarms of people who are trying for this profession."

After his first year at the conservatory, Salter, hungry for self-made experience, reunited with fellow Bowdoin graduate Brady Kirchberg '05 for an independent project. With Kirchberg and Brandis Kemp, Salter founded the production company Red Wheelbarrow Productions, LLC ( in the spring of 2009.

As expressed in their mission statement, Salter, Kirchberg, and Kemp were motivated to create Red Wheelbarrow Productions because of their concern for the "effects of the troubled economy on the arts and organizations supporting the arts." The company's mission is "to create outlets for artists to showcase their talent, ideas, and passion through means that are not entirely fiscally impossible."

While looking to found the company and begin work on their first production, Salter and Kirchberg were interested in doing a piece together and building on an experience they'd had working together on a small student-run production at Bowdoin.

"It all began with an interest in working with each other again," Salter said. "One thing led to another—we founded an LLC, picked Josh Grellong's play "Manuscript," found a director and put on a 10-show run of the production."

"It was a great experience to know that we could actually do it, that we could do everything from ticket sales to getting rehearsal space, to acting, to working with a new director, to building an entire set," Salter added. "It took us three months of total prep time and cost a lot of money but it was an invaluable experience."

Upon Salter's completion of his second year at the conservatory, Red Wheelbarrow Productions will try to start a new production this spring.

"The plan is for Red Wheel Barrow to do two shows a year," Salter explained. "We'd also like to get our hands into independent films in addition to doing classic plays. There's something really motivating and exciting about making a push to find original, unproduced works, and what was so great about producing "Manuscript" was that it became a reaffirmation of the fact that, if we really put our feet down we could do it."