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Social media spotlight on: Theatre

There isn’t just one factor that goes into an award-winning theatre program.

It’s many things, and you’ll learn all of them in Doane Theatre, where a history of excellence in costume, sound and set design; play adaptations; production; and performance set the College of creative freedom apart.  

Under the direction of our dedicated faculty, you’ll learn how to put together a full production from the ground up.

You’ll travel to fine arts hubs like Chicago, New York City or even London and soak in the kind of learning experiences that are both empowering and enriching.

You’ll take the stage and fit in with the same kind of driven, passionate learners as you, before standing out when you leave Doane to apply the skills you learned here in your dream job.

What are you waiting for? The stage is yours.

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Throwback Thursday | #tbt

Kacy Armstrong ’10

 

From: Lincoln, Neb.

Degrees: B.S. in theatre and business administration. Earned a minor in accounting.

Projects/productions: After graduating in 2010, I was selected for the Professional Internship Program at Center Stage, the State Theater of Maryland, as the Management Intern.  I then became the Management Fellow the following year and finally joined the staff as the Executive Assistant in 2012.  I assist the two leaders of the theater with everything from scheduling and communication as well as special projects, such as developing strategic plans and multi-year pro formas.   Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE is our artistic director and is an internationally-known playwright, screenwriter, actor and director. Stephen Richard is our managing director who brings more than 25 years of experience to the table and is a wonderful mentor.

How Doane Theatre helped me: When I was visiting colleges, (Theatre Director) Rob McKercher was the first and only person to get as excited as I was about combining studies of business and theatre. Rob and (Associate Professor) Jeff Stander were willing to work with and give me as much management experience as possible.  By my junior year, I had earned my stripes and became the production manager for all of the main stage productions and helped coordinate all aspects of production from props to the front-of-house experience.  I also had the honor of serving as president of Doane Players my senior year, a role with the responsibility of coordinating Doane’s annual Theatre Conference. I worked with a committee to invite hundreds of high school students to campus to see a performance and participate in workshops.  Through these experiences, I honed my verbal and written communication skills, interpersonal skills and attention to detail, not to mention became more confident in my abilities.  These are all important factors which helped me have a stable and successful career in my field since graduating.

I also want to stress the importance of internships for theater students. I started taking summer internships after my sophomore year. (First-year Advisor) Rhonda Lake helped me sort through all the options and focus on the ones which offered the best experience.  I interned at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival in Center Valley, Pa. and Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Conn. The hands on experience and networking I completed during those summers paved the way to my current position.

Lisa Krabbenhoft ’13

 

From: Omaha, Neb.

Degrees: B.S. in theatre.

Projects/productions: Recently, I had worked on “It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” “Dracula: A Rock Opera” and “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail,” all at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, W.Va. as the production stage manager.  Currently, I am working with The Rose Theatre in Omaha as an over hire.  I have also worked at The Rose Theatre on past productions for “Ticket To Toy Land” as the fly rail operator, “Suessical: The Musical” as a spot light operator and “The Sound of Music” as the fly rail operator. 

How Doane Theatre helped me: Doane Theatre helped me get to where I am today by giving me great opportunities to work on all different aspects of theatre.  By giving me the chance to work on all of the shows at Doane to help me build by resume and give me some great experience.  It also gave me a great opportunity to work with other students on student directed shows as a stage manager.  Doane gave me a great chance to go out to different theatre conferences to meet new people, go to workshops and see what everybody else is doing in theatre.  By going to all of these conferences it has helped me find great jobs and to meet new people in my field.  They also helped me land great jobs at Greenbrier Valley Theatre and The Rose Theatre.  By doing all of these things it helped me grow as a person and a better theatre professional. 

Frank “Chet” Miller ’12

 

From: Farmington, N.M.

Degrees: B.S. in theatre from Doane, M.A. in Production Design from Ohio University.

Projects/productions: Honors-wise, I received an achievement in sound design for "Dead Man's Cellphone" from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival for Region V. Ohio Valley United States Institute for Theatre Technology awarded me a Peggy Ezekiel Boards Choice and Distinguished Award for “War is F***ing Awesome” in 2012. I am the supervisor for the Santa Fe Opera and I’ve worked off-Broadway with “Peter and the Starcatcher” and “A Second Chance” as the A2/Backstage mic tech.

How Doane Theatre helped me: Doane laid the foundation for me as an artist. I learned not just about sound but about the history of what we do, the rigging and carpentry to get exactly what I need in the right place, and about alternative theatre movements because often times the most interesting work is done outside of a proscenium (front stage). Doane is a fellowship of artists I can call on to share stories of success, learn from moments of failure and celebrate the moments that define what we do.

Michael Ulmer ’11

 

From: Texarkana, Texas

Degrees: B.S. in theatre

Projects/productions: In August of 2011, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. I did a lot of background work for film and television when I first got out here, and in 2012 I landed a few small roles in commercials, music videos and movies, one of them being a Nazi soldier in "Puppet Master X." I booked and filmed my first lead in the movie "Rumors of Wars" at the beginning of 2013, and it is being released in theaters this spring. Also, in the fall of 2013, I participated in the workshop of a brand new stage musical called "The Gun Show." 

 

How Doane Theatre helped me: Being a part of the Doane theatre program means a lot to me. It was there that I was given the tools to make my crazy dreams and goals a reality. I really am where I am because of the amazing program, and I can honestly say that the Doane theatre program molded and shaped me into the actor I am today. As a matter of fact, just the other day for an audition, I used a character analysis sheet that I got while studying at Doane. I can’t begin to say how appreciative I am of Rob McKercher, Jeff Stander, Rhonda Lake and (2010 KCACTF Director of the Year) Shannon Cameron for pouring so much into me.

#tigercrushtuesday

Coryelle Thomas ’14

From: Unadilla, Neb.

Major: Journalism and Media Minor: Theatre

Projects/productions: The lead in Homecoming shows “Oh Dad, Poor Dad,” “Boeing Boeing” and “Lend Me a Tenor.” Irene Ryan award nominee for 2013 Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (2013) and an Irene Ryan partner in 2012 and 2014. Lead in Jimmy Reynolds' student directed show “American Buffalo.” Ensemble in “Cyrano.”

Why I love Doane: “The main reason I love Doane is because it is my family. Beyond being a college, Doane is a support system with strong networking ties and a foundation for success that I never anticipated being possible for someone like me who comes from a tiny village in southeast Nebraska and not a whole lot of money. I feel close to everyone and cared for, which is a special feeling I believe you will only find here at Doane College.”

Eve Machtakova ’15

From: Omaha, Neb. via Tomsk, Russia

Major: Social studies secondary education Minor: Theatre

Projects/productions: Acted in “Cyrano,” “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” “Boeing Boeing” and “Lend Me a Tenor.” Currently working as an assistant director for “The Drowsy Chaperone.”

Why I love Doane Theatre: “I love Doane theatre because it gives fantastic opportunities to work with and meet wonderful people. It helped me find my place within this school and my friends who will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Katrina Janelle Wulf' 15 

From: Superior, Neb.

Major: Theatre Minor: Art

Projects/productions: Acting in "Jerusalem," "Mother Courage," "Burning Barn," "August: Osage County," "Loves Labors Lost" and "Cyrano."

Groups: Historian and treasurer for Doane Players, Alpha Psi Omega member and costume shop work study. 

Why I love Doane Theatre: "I love Doane theatre because we come together as a family. The fact that we are a small department makes us closer and (we) actually care about one another. But we also produce amazing theatre that shocks and entertains the masses. Another aspect of this department that makes people want to come to Doane is the personal relationships we have with our theatre professors. They know us all by name and it's easy to have a personal connection with them all. They care about our success, which continues after graduation. I wouldn't have my theatre experience any other way."

Dylan Relue '15

From: Denver

Major: Theatre, working on emphasis/minor in film (transferred from University of Colorado Boulder)

Projects/prodcutions: Helped design audio/visual elements for "Mother Courage and Her Children." Working on starting a film program at Doane and making a 15-minute short film called "Runner."

Why I love Doane Theatre: "Doane Theatre has an amazing amount of resources available, and the Panthera program (Theatre Director) Rob McKercher runs is awesome. It's for the students who want to run independent projects, so (my) short film is perfect. I love the small community and all the people in the theatre program are very supportive, and that's what I like the most about it. You won't find people everywhere who will sit down and read through your intense 21 page screenplay for fun!"

Gabriella Montemarano '17

From: Gretna, Neb.

Major: English/Language Arts secondary education Minor: Theatre

Projects/productions: Will star in "Jerusalem" this spring.

Why I love Doane Theatre: "I love Doane Theatre because it is like a little family. Doane Theatre has helped me be myself and trust others on and off stage."

Liz Stauffer '14

From: Lincoln, Neb.

Major: Music direction for musical theatre

Projects/productions: Music director/accompanist for "The Drowsy Chaperone"

Group: Delta Omicron (National theatre honor society)

Why I love Doane Theatre: "Our department gives every student, regardless of their major, the opportunity to participate in every facet of theatre, whether it be tech or acting. We welcome anyone into our family! Also, students have so much artistic freedom here.  Our alternative season, Panthera, is comprised entirely of student-directed productions.  Rarely can you attend a college that will obtain rights to a show just because you want to do it. As long as you express a passion for wanting to do a show, Rob will get the rights.  By going to Doane, I have gained so much experience in theatre that I wouldn't have been able to get elsewhere. I had the freedom to design my own major, picking-and-choosing the classes that were appropriate for my career path and interests, all culminating in a Bachelor of Arts degree."

Abigail Fletcher '16

From: Omaha, Neb.

Major: Theatre Minors: Art, vocal music

Projects/productions: Starred in "Boeing, Boeing," "Next to Normal," "Mother Courage and Her Children" and "The Drowsy Chaperone."

What I love about Doane theatre: The Doane theatre is my family. They're my greatest friends, my most-trusted confidants and the most loving people I know. This department has helped me by teaching me that theatre is not a competition. It's an art form that we do because we love - and we always support one another."

Courtney Wood '14

From: Falmouth, Maine

Major: Theatre 

Projects/productions: Starred in "Oh, Dad, Poor Dad," "Spinning into Butter," "Cyrano," "Loves Labour's Lost" and "Mother Courage." Will star in "Jerusalem" this spring.

Groups: Alpha Psi Omega

Why I love Doane theatre: "I love Doane theatre because of all the wonderful and unique opportunities that it provides for its students. These opportunities have helped me grow, learn and be challenged as an actress."  

Vanessa Randall '15

From: Omaha, Neb.

Major: Theatre Minor: Art

Projects/productions: Costume designing this spring’s production of "Jerusalem," also designed costumes for last year’s production of "Next to Normal."

Groups: Treasurer of Doane Players and historian for Alpha Psi Omega - Delta Omicron.

Why I love Doane Theatre and how it's helped me: "Doane Theatre has given me ample opportunities to take a leadership position on productions. This has enabled to me to gain experience as a costume designer, which not many undergraduate programs can offer their students. I’ve expanded my knowledge and skills in multiple different design fields, making me more marketable and useful as a future employee. I came to Doane as an actor that liked to sew. But, through taking various theatre classes, I discovered my passion for sewing surpassed my passion for acting. I was able to get a work-study job in the costume shop, allowing me to further develop my abilities as a stitcher, and work closely with all of the shows. Working with our faculty has helped me become aware of job opportunities across the country, and how to make myself as well-rounded as possible. Our department recently took a trip to London. I got to tour Angels Costumiers, the costume company that did "The Duchess," "Titanic," "Star Wars," "Harry Potter" and many other well-known blockbusters. I feel valued and taken seriously at Doane, and being able to be a part of an evolving department has been an amazing opportunity. I wouldn’t trade it for anything."

Katie Leware '14

From: Bellevue, Neb.

Majors: Theatre, Religious Studies

Projects/productions: Set crew/carpenter for "39 Steps"; stage manager/carpenter for "Cyrano"; master carpenter/assistant production manager for "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson"; carpenter/assistant production manager for "Love's Labors Lost"; production manager/carpenter for "Boeing Boeing, " "August: Osage County," "Next to Normal" and "Hedda Gabler'; production manager/carpenter for "Lend Me a Tenor"; assistant director/production manager/carpenter for "Mother Courage"; production manager/technical director for "Jerusalem"; and production manager/carpenter for "Drowsy Chaperone."

Groups: 2012-13 Doane Players President; Alpha Psi Omega member; Alpha Lambda Delta member; Omicron Delta Kappa member; Green Committee secretary; Alternative Spring Break co-coordinator; Sustainability Council member; Cru and Fellowship of Christian Athletes member.

Why I love Doane Theatre and how it's helped me: "I love Doane Theatre because they are my second family. Everyone is so supportive and loving. I owe all of my success to the department. Without my fellow students and wonderful professors I wouldn't be able to enjoy the opportunities that I have and will continue to be blessed with."

#mondayfunday