From The Johnson Theatre Stage to the Coliseum Stage - Alumni Couple Graduates Together
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From The Johnson Theatre Stage to the Coliseum Stage - Alumni Couple Graduates Together

May 27, 2021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Deonte and Samra Streeter graduated with their respective degrees in May 2021. 
  • The couple met in 2017 during a Theatre and Dance production of "The Wiz," in which they were both cast as main characters. 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – Lights, camera, action…LOVE. 

Winthrop University’s Department of Theatre and Dance put on sold-out show after sold-out show of the acclaimed musical “The Wiz” in February 2017. Once production ended, it was the “End of the Yellow Brick Road” for most of the cast and crew.  

But it was just the beginning for cast mates Deonte Streeter and Samra Streeter, both 24. The couple has shared several stages – Johnson Theatre; the wedding altar; and more recently, the Coliseum stage, where they both earned their respective Winthrop degrees in May 2021.  

‘…We rely on our faith to push us’ 

The pair met when Deonte was cast as the Scarecrow and Samra as Glinda, the Good Witch of the South.  

Samra was attracted to Deonte’s personality and passion.

“He was always really nice to everyone, and when we were having bad rehearsals, he was super supportive to the cast, especially those who weren’t arts majors,” she said. “Deonte was oblivious to me liking him though!”

The rest of the cast and crew dropped hints to Deonte. He began following Samra on Snapchat and was attracted to the more personal side he saw there. They set up a playlist battle and have been inseparable ever since.

They married in December 2017 and continued working toward their degrees – Deonte, musical theatre, and Samra, human development and family studies…until they received some unexpected, but very welcome, news.  

“We learned that we were pregnant during that semester, after being told we wouldn't be able to have kids due to a condition I have,” Samra explained. “We both decided that it was in our family's best interest to take a break from school. During that break, we had our son, Noel, and 18 months later had our daughter Naomi. When our daughter was three weeks old, we decided to go back to school.  

“Now, we are both Winthrop graduates!” 

It wasn’t the easiest path. The Streeters juggled a lot: being parents to two young children; working full time; remaining active in their church; AND going to school full time. Not to mention, they returned to Winthrop just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, affecting millions of households across the world in numerous ways.  

“We faced a lot of hardships and had several hard conversations where we had to consider dropping out again,” Samra said. “However, when we're weak, we rely on our faith to push us. With God, our village supporting us and lots of resilience, we did it!” 

‘Do not let anyone tell you how to navigate your journey’ 

Originally from Lexington, Deonte was drawn to Winthrop after attending the One-Acts Festival through the Palmetto Dramatic Arts Association. His high school drama teacher, who’s a Winthrop alumnus, encouraged him to look into the College of Visual and Performing Arts as well. Deonte also completed basic training and advanced individual training in the Army National Guard. 

Meanwhile, Florence native Samra visited Winthrop after attending several Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement conferences with her mother. She appreciated the campus and how it evoked the image of what she thought a college campus should be.  

The Streeters are currently working and saving money for a future move to either Atlanta or California, where they will pursue opportunities in their fields.

When asked for advice on what she would tell others who may be struggling to complete their degrees, or just struggling to keep everything going, Samra said: “Do not let anyone tell you how to navigate your journey. Do what makes you happy, do what makes you feel fulfilled. If it doesn't align with how society says your life should be, do it louder and prouder. Create the life you desire. Anything is within your reach if you're willing to stretch.” 

For more information, please contact Nicole Chisari, communications coordinator, at 803/323-2236 or e-mail chisarin@winthrop.edu.

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Last Updated: 5/27/21