Concentrations: Social Anthropology and Music
Nesbitt was in the middle of packing to move home when she found out she’d been named a Mitchell Scholar. The first person she told was her grandmother, who was standing right next to her.
“My grandma was even more excited than me,” Nesbitt said. “My grandma is 82 — 81, I think — and she was jumping up and down, which I’ve never seen her doing ever. That definitely heightened my excitement, and I felt it was a good culmination of my Harvard experience.”
At Harvard, Nesbitt used her acting, music, and directing skills to turn a spotlight on social justice. She is co-president of BlackCAST, the Harvard Black Community & Student Theater Group, and helps organize the annual Black Playwrights Festival. In her sophomore year, Nesbitt helped relaunch KeyChange, the a capella group focused on performing music from the African Diaspora. After the pandemic lockdown, she also directed one of the first Harvard plays performed on Zoom in June, helping raise around $10,000 to support organizations related to Black Lives Matter and COVID-19.
As the former inclusivity chair of the Harvard Black Student Association, Nesbitt is seen as a leader on campus. She helped steer dialogue within the Black student community and forged partnerships with other campus groups for students of color to promote diversity on campus.
“I’ve been really focused and invested in the idea that everybody should feel like they have a hand in whatever story we’re telling; everybody should feel like the stakes are their stakes, whatever piece of art or music that they’re listening to or theater or they’re viewing,” Nesbitt said.
Nesbitt will study theater directing at The Lir Academy at Trinity College Dublin.
“A lot of Irish theatre and Irish art is based off of a legacy of colonialism and a focus on identity-making in the wake of a very deeply colonized location,” she said. “I’m excited to learn how they parse through it in terms of theater and how they perform the greater effects of colonialism and then use that to influence my work.”