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Mary Mathyer

Theatre Arts

Hometown: Evanston, IL
Majors: Theatre Arts, Biology
Study Abroad: Nairobi, Kenya
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Moose Tracks
Best Adjective to Describe You: Dedicated

In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
The Playhouse, the Dungeon, Tully, Nelda’s ghost, blood day, tech.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I was involved in theatre all through high school and knew that I wanted to continue in college.  Once I got involved here at K, I found a place where I fit in that allowed me to creatively express myself.  I got to know the faculty and the other students and soon found myself spending hours in the theatre.  I got sucked in and haven’t yet found a reason to leave.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Get involved in productions early on.  Whether you’re an actor, designer or technician, do a little of everything and start as soon as you can.  The sooner you establish yourself, the sooner you can branch out and find your niche.  But also don’t be afraid to try a new area of theatre.  You never know what will be perfect for you!

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
The theatre and bio departments connect through me in that they balance each other.  They are two very different fields with different styles of teaching and learning, both of which I need.  Being involved in both departments keeps me from getting lost in either.  And when I get frustrated with one, which everyone does at some point, I have the other to pull me back and keep my life balanced.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
College is not about perfection.  It is about making mistakes and taking chances and discovering who you are in the process.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My favorite class would probably have to be Stagecraft.  It is really hands on and I got to experiment with many different kinds of technical theatre.  It’s essentially a “taste of theatre tech” class.  I still have the shell of the theatre model I built 2 ½ years later.  I am saving it for my senior seminar.

What is your SIP?
My SIP is in the bio department.  I am working at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences where I am annotating the genome of the Nitrospina bacteria.  Basically, I am determining what genes this bacteria possess and what processes they are able to carry out because of them.  I am also looking at their distribution through oceans worldwide.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I currently intend to go to grad school for biology.  The specific field within bio is still undetermined.

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