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Kalamazoo College

Lauren Landman

Theatre Arts

Hometown: Novi, MI
Majors: Theatre Arts and Psychology
Minor: Music
Study Away: New York Arts Program
Best Adjective to Describe You: Enthusiastic

In 20 words or less, what is the best thing about being part of this department?
The Theatre Arts Department is such a welcoming, open environment, and each student knows their work is appreciated and respected.

What is your advice to first years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?
This year, the theme of Festival Playhouse’s season is “Theatre and Making New Families” – a title that I believe wholeheartedly represents the department as a whole. The Theatre Arts Department at K is always looking for new members to join our family, whether you’ve been performing your whole life, simply want to try out a new activity, or anything in between. All of the Festival Playhouse productions are open to both majors and non-majors, so if any aspects of theatre spark your interest, come out and audition for a show, or apply to work backstage as part of the technical crew! It’s extremely easy to become involved in theatre here – we’d love to have you.

What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
Don’t ever trap yourself in a mindset where you feel like you must “prove” yourself (be it in an academic setting, a social setting, etc.). You are phenomenal just the way you are – so instead, keep an open mind and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Your closest friends during your freshman year may not be the same people during your senior year, and that is okay. Your interests and passions may completely change throughout your collegiate career, and that is absolutely valid. Regardless of what chaos you may encounter during your four years at K, never engage in a situation where you feel uncomfortable or unworthy because you feel like it is the only way to validate yourself. Instead, trust in your own abilities, and trust me when I say that you are valued.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My favorite class at K was my first-year seminar, “An Awfully Big Adventure”, which I took with the incredible Di Seuss. It was unlike any other class I have ever taken, casual and cool, and utilized analyses of famous children’s stories (e.g., Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, etc.) as guidebooks to help us transition to college life. Not only was the class thought-provoking and creative, it provided my classmates and me with a safe space while we adjusted to K College. I have honestly written essays specifically about this class, but my descriptions will never be able to do it justice – it was just that amazing!

How have you taken advantage of the open curriculum/experienced breadth in your education?
K’s open curriculum heavily influenced my decision to come to the school because I wanted to have the ability to study theatre, my greatest passion, while simultaneously exploring multiple other interests (at other schools, this can be extremely difficult to accomplish!).

What experiential education opportunities have you participated in?
Throughout the past three years, I’ve had too many experiential education opportunities to count! However, some highlights include: (1) interning at Broadway Dance Center for three months during the winter of 2017 while studying away through the New York Arts Program; (2) attending the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival two years in a row – through the connections I made at this conference, I secured a performing apprenticeship at an Equity theatre during the summer of 2016; and (3) working as a tour guide and communications intern for K College’s Office of Admission for the past two years, which has allowed me to share my love for the school with current and incoming students!

What is your SIP?
For my SIP, I spent the summer training intensively in Musical Theatre at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City. My final project will include a brief biography of Stella Adler’s life, discuss the specific components of the Stella Adler method of acting, provide historical information about the establishment of the Studio, and serve as a reflection on my personal growth as an actress during this incredible opportunity.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I have loved theatre for as long as I can remember, and cannot imagine my life without it. Therefore, after I graduate from K, I hope to move to a large city (New York, Chicago, London, etc.) and pursue a career as an actress – my ultimate goal is to act on Broadway!

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