Theatre

Alumni

Valerie Miller ’05

Conference Coordinator
Law Bulletin Publishing Company

From my experience, I feel by hands-on-work with deadlines, people of all backgrounds and ages, and being able to test my skills in a real production trained me for the job I do now. I would be lost if I had not majored in theatre. Instead of class projects that don’t put you into real-life decision making – I was calling a show. What do you do when you have 450 cues to call and a spot light burns out five minutes prior to a show? That happened. I just finished coordinating a conference with 850 people in attendance, 25 table top displays, AV set up, room layout, 40 speakers and some of the biggest names in Commercial Real Estate as sponsors.

Nora Vander Broek Faircloth ’04 LMT,CSCS

Owner/massage therapist ‘Nora Faircloth Massage Therapy’ in Urbandale, IA
West Des Moines, IA

Everyone at Central should have theatre classes in their schedule. Not just one, but many. It is through work in the theatre that one develops confidence in public speaking situations, is enlightened to our diverse culture, liberated of personal insecurities, and is introduced to the meaning of ‘theatre was not created in a vacuum.’ Much of my sucess in the business world is attributed to what I learned in the theatre; I better have a good amount of research backing up any decision I make and I better keep up with what’s going on around me in the world or I might become a part of the joke and not even be aware of it. My major took me into the medical world, but it was because of my involvement in the theatre that I am successful at communicating with my audience.

Elizabeth DeVore ’02

Assistant Production Manager for Chamber Theatre Productions
Boston, Mass.

Lucy Payne ’03

Media and Communications Assistant
Childrens Commissioner for Wales
“I use skills that I developed at Central everyday, and it’s wonderful to have a job where I can finally put the skills I learned during my studies into action.”

Amy Stanwood Williams ’02

System/Services Support Analyst
Des Moines, Iowa

 

Jaime McTaggart ’01

Chicago, Ill.

“For me, being a theatre minor really meant putting that final icing on the cake of what was to be my life. I had known since I was a small child that I wanted to be a performer someday. However, the day I decided to minor in theatre was the day I really put some specific direction to my life. To this day, I still have Central College “Theatre Minor” on my resume. I remember my Senior Year Acting II class, with Dr. Sodd. I remember how hard she pushed us, how hard I worked, and how well I did in the end. Thinking back to that particular experience has gotten me through many an audition. Not only do I constantly use the tools and skills I acquired as a theatre minor at Central, I still consistently use the monologues I walked away from there with at auditions! ”

Corrie Besse ’01

Receptionist
Charles Infergan Salon

Corrie A Besse is an ensemble member at Mary-Arrchie Theatre and Chicago Dance Crash, where she resides as the production stage manger. Stage management credits include: Trick Pony, Tribulation and the Demolition Squad, Oddwater and Other Works (Chicago Dance Crash), Killers, Gas Mask 101, Sea Marks, Mojo (Mary-Arrchie), Foolin’ Around With Infinity (Phalanx), That’s Weird Grandma! (Barrel of Monkeys), Journey’s End After Dark Award for Outstanding Production (Seanachai), several Chicago Humanities Festivals, and assistant stage manager for Cider House Rules Parts I and II – Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Ensemble and Best Production (Famous Door). Production management credits include: Joseph Pascal’s Tribute to the Bohemian Roundkick (Chicago Dance Crash) and Buried Child (Mary-Arrchie). She received a bachelor’s degree in theatre and communication from Central College in Pella, IA.

Nathan Gieseke ’01

Owner and Operator of The Glass Aura
Mineral Point, Wis.

“Central College theatre department gave me experience and skills that I use in both of my careers; I learned to build and gained innumerable skills in performance art.”

Enda O. Breadon ’00

Has worked as an actor, director and teaching artist since graduating from Central. Based from 2000-2003 in Atlanta and from 2004-present in Nashville, he has also done a large amount of work on the road. Highlights include Larsen and Lee’s Treasure Island (Ben Gunn/Billy Bones) at Georgia Ensemble Theatre; Pericles (assistant director under Darko Tresjnack) at the Old Globe; world premier of Y York’s Nothing is the Same (assistant director under Mark Lutwak) at Honoulu Theatre for Youth and Kennedy Center; and Irish national premeir of Carl Djerassi’s Calculus at Trinity College Dublin (role of Commedia, associate director with Philip O’Sullivan). Currently implementing a pilot of all-inclusive K-8 drama program for parochial schools in the Nashville area (co-writer of the curriculum) and continuing to freelance throughout the country in professional theatre.

What a degree in Theatre from Central has meant to me:

“Attending Central has been instrumental. I was recently praised by former Honolulu Theatre for Youth Artistic Director Mark Lutwak, “At a time when most young directors seem increasingly cold and mercenary . . . Enda is rare in his desire to do theatre that means something for the community.”

As much as it taught me about the art of theatre, my time at Central taught me even more about the joy of continuing to learn and of the context theatre holds within the larger community. My first major work was at Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) during the summer after my sophomore year. It came about largely as the result of research done for an assignment in a children’s theatre class for Dr. Mary Jo Sodd. The work at SCT spawned more work, not simply for having been there but because I have approached everything theatrically as Central taught me: quick to admit what I don’t know, eager to learn from those with more knowledge than me, and above all continually looking to see how the work we do fits into and affects the world around us. There has been a shockingly large rise of late in art about art, especially in theatre about theatre and an attitude of elitism (or “clique-ism” for the more jaded). This is the result of young professionals whose training leaves them only able to talk about their training and shows they have done or wish to do. The audiences still sticking with us at this perilous time are desperate to see work that allows them to recognize themselves onstage, to see their stories told. Central did not leave me with great connections in the professional theatre world or a particularly deep understanding of any particular training/performance method. What it gave me has been far more valuable: 1) just enough knowledge of different styles and the humble desire/ability to pick those up as I work or study more; 2) a strong desire to do this art in a way that is actually about the world we live in. World-wise theatre, one could say.”

Dawn Everard ’00

Human Resources Coordinator
Shure Incorporated

Chicago, Ill.

“The Central Theatre department made me tough. I couldn’t have asked for better preparation for what life would throw at me. Using the skills I learned in directing and stage management, I now am a training facilitator for the world’s leading microphone manufacturer.”

Amber DeBeer ’97

Admissions Adviser
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, N.Y.

“I thank God every day I have a theatre degree. The stage management experience I got at Central allowed me to learn how to look at the “Big Picture” while still thinking about all the little details that go into making a production happen. This experience has been invaluable to me as I am able to translate that experience into my job where I plan events both on and off campus. It has also allowed me to manage my day to day recruitment of students while looking at the larger picture of bringing in an entire class. The acting experience I got also helped me in understanding how to best deliver a presentation about the university and that has been wonderful to have when I have 300 perspective students in a room looking at me for the answers. I really like my current role as I get to promote the arts to future students and help encourage further growth within this field. A theatre major is not always just about acting and going to Broadway. There are so many different careers this field can lead to and each one can use the skills you learn as a theatre major.”

Mary Whisenand ’86

Assistant Vice President of Marsh

“A degree in theatre has helped me with my career in the corporate world. I may not be on stage or earning my living in the theatre, but the confidence in communicating with many different groups, organizational skills and relaying information were learned in the theatre, not the classroom.”

Sherill Whisenand ’78

U.S. West Coast Media Relations Director
Medialink Worldwide, Inc.
Los Angeles, Calif.

Michelle Zinke ’95

Children’ Services Coordinator & Training Specialist
Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition
Lincoln, Neb.

Scott Gire ’88

Store Manager
Younkers Department Stores

Lyndsay R. Kooistra-Kroloff ’01

Sales & Marketing Manager
Allied Insurance Company, Portland, Ore.

Kevin Viol ’03

Equipment Manager
Old Town School of Folk Music
Chicago, Ill.

Terri Green ’99

Adoption and behavior counselor
Friends of County Animal Shelters
San Diego, Calif.

Scot Hughes ’86

FAA Air Traffic Control Specialist
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

R. Bruce Haustein, CPA ’77

Owner/Operator
Entrepreneurial Services of Pella, Financial and Tax Accounting; Property and Business Management