Future Alumni

Ashley-Rose Goodwin: Degrees of Determination

- July 6, 2022

(Nick Pearce photo)
(Nick Pearce photo)

A Play in Five Acts.

ACT I—It’s 2004, and Ashley-Rose Goodwin is starting Theatre Studies at Dalhousie. The stage had been her safe place as she struggled with depression and anxiety. She hopes studying theatre will help turn her life around, but it doesn’t. “I really struggled at Dal the first two years. Back then, they weren’t sure what to do with me.”

ACT II—Ashley completes second year and heads back to Yarmouth for summer break. She discovers she’s pregnant and decides not to return to university. She welcomes Hudson, then Isac and Wynston to her family. Her focus is on being a good mom, she stays connected to performance by teaching piano and getting involved with musical theatre at Th’YARC.

“Everyone is like, ‘how did you do it?’ I think if you really believe and want something bad enough you can accomplish it. There’s power in believing in who you are and your fire, your inner fire, and needing to keep it burning so you can share it with others.”

ACT III—Ashley is a single mom living in Liverpool juggling motherhood, running her private music studio and volunteering with the Astor Theatre. She’s operating on autopilot and her confidence is not keeping up with her success. “When they asked me to be the assistant director for Seussical Junior I didn’t feel right because I didn’t have my degree. Even though I had all this experience, I just felt like I needed the paper.”

ACT IV—She welcomes another son, Kenneth. She learns how to balance her theatre projects while serving at White Point Beach Resort. There, she meets Kim Brooks (currently Dean of Management) who encourages Ashley to finish her degree. Ashley returns to Dal in 2019.

ACT V—Through the pandemic, Ashley perseveres, reconnecting with her voice and her inner power. She graduates in May 2022 with an Honours degree in Theatre Studies and aminor in Music. “I want to compose music and begin performing again. I’m also thinking about doing my Master of Arts in counseling to integrate that with music and theater. I want to give kids and youth that safe space that theatre gave me.”

This story appeared in the DAL Magazine Spring 2022 issue. Flip through the rest of the Spring 2022 issue using the links below.


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