Memories of the Playhouse

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Class of 1974

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John Rose

Graduated with an Economics Business degree; former Business Owner in process of retiring

“My business career revolved around trade show marketing. My business was all about displays, lights, sets, and logistics of putting on an experiential event.”

Favorite memory in The Playhouse? “Too many to name one. Working back stage, designing and setting lights, meeting my future spouse.”

Class of 1978

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Jay Oney

PhD in theatre history from Ohio State University. 23 years teaching in Furman Department of Theatre Arts. I have directed 25 plays, taught theatre history, acting, directing, and criticism. I have occasionally acted, and I chaired the department for 12 years. I have co-directed the Study Away in the UK program 3 times.

“My years as a Furman Drama major gave me a good academic and production foundation for further training towards a career in the theatre. At Furman, I developed a lifelong faith in the ability of good people to have fun together doing the hard work of making plays.

I have many fond memories from those years, including theatre hockey and the beginnings of theatre darts, post-rehearsal trips to the Krispy Kreme with professors and casts, the thrill of studying great plays in the department’s classes and productions, and marveling at Sam Hodges, a non-theatre major who was a better actor then than I ever became. Also, during a dress rehearsal of a play where I acted with Professor Bryson, at a quiet moment, he whispered, “Oney, you smell like a banana.”

On the less fun side, as a careless scene shop assistant, I almost cut a finger off in the table saw, and we had a prof who chain-smoked as he taught us theatre history in the studio theatre.

As a senior, I directed a full length farce called What the Butler Saw. In the adrenaline surge of opening night, two of the actors accidentally pulled the pants and underwear off of a third. I am the only Furman theatre director so far to preside over a production with full-frontal male nudity. That moment provided the loudest laugh I’ve ever heard in over 40 years of seeing shows in The Playhouse.”

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Katharine "Kat" Slonaker

Freelance contractor for online data company (Sales & Service)

“My Playhouse experiences (meaning, the people in it) gave me genuine confidence in myself and consequently the ability to survive the craziness of my entertainment career.”

“So many…Theatre Hockey, traffic “fire drills”, being asked to leave Krispy Kreme, pranks and ‘in’ jokes…Truly though, I think what sticks with me best is the feeling of being exactly right where I ought to be.”

Class of 1980

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Pam Creasman Wheeler

Graduated with a Music Education (choral) degree; “I am a High School and Middle School Chorus Teacher. I am also in Musical Theatre as a Performer, Director, Choreographer, and Music Director. (I am also a Zumba instructor!)”

“I loved my time at the Playhouse! From lifelong friendships to learning technical and acting skills; from hanging out in the Green Room to performing on the stage - all of these things helped shape me into the person I am today.”

“Although I never took a class, I remember learning the art of batik as we personalized our costumes for Two By Two. And yes - I have batiked clothes over the years! I have many other wonderful memories, but this specific one stood out.”

Class of 1981

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Kris McDermott

Graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts & English; “Professor of English at Central Michigan University, teaching Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama. I’ve edited a collection of court dramas, Masques of Difference: Four Court Masques by Ben Jonson (Univ. of Manchester Press, 2007), and a picture book for young readers, William Shakespeare: His Life and Times (Templar/Candlewick, 2010).”

“When I began studying Shakespeare as a graduate student at UCLA, my all-around theatre background propelled me into using performance to teach the plays, both in the classroom and out of it in amateur productions. I always tell my students that Drama is the ideal college major – it teaches you project management, public speaking, text analysis, design principles, practical skills like sewing, carpentry, electrical, and painting – and you make friends that will last your entire life!”

“In 1980, we were visited by a touring company from the Royal Shakespeare Company. The time we spent with these amazing actors was one of the best moments of many in my four years as a Theatre Arts major. The group included Cheri Lunghi and Dame Judi Dench’s brother Jeffery. Matt Williams (‘81) was directing a student production of the Noel Coward play Hay Fever at the time, and the RSCers were kind enough to coach us on our very bad English accents – and not make fun of them! I was also one of the first theatre hockey ‘wenches’ and confess to being one of the actors present onstage for the infamous accidental ‘What the Butler Saw’ pantsing in Professor Oney’s memory.”

Class of 1989

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Mary Hayes (Shiver) Ernst

“I taught High School Theatre for 25 years and now I am having a “second act” teaching Honors & On Level World History for Tennessee Connections Academy! I am a “drama mama”, my 15 year old son is doing theatre at his High School. I am doing costumes and props for PUFFS. I have been doing community theatre off and on for the last 10 years when time would permit-now with the film industry booming in the Southeast, I hope to do some film work in my spare time!”

“Theatre Arts has been my life since I can remember. I loved “hanging out” at the Playhouse. It really was our own little world on the FU campus. I learned more than I can say from Court Gilmour, Rhett Bryson, Dr. Philip Hill and Margaret Caterisano!”

“The very first semester I was at Furman, I was cast as Bianca in THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. It was magical! I was a Freshman. I was doing Shakespeare, and I knew I was doing exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of time! I was so in awe of the older performers and I felt so special to be a part of such a great group. Besides-I had AMAZING costumes! Thanks, Margaret!”

Class of 1990

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Lauren Linn Tucker

“Elementary Special Education teacher of students with autism spectrum disorder; I also have a Theatre Club of 55 fourth graders.”

“[The Furman Theatre Arts Department] taught me so many life skills (time management, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, how to have fun, etc.) that have helped me be successful in both of my careers (I was previously a manager with Social Security).”

Favorite memory in The Playhouse? “The scenic shop…everything about it! Stage managing so many productions with Rhett Bryson helping me gain confidence and skill as a manager of people and time. The Masquerade Ball-we wore the dresses, etc. we had made in the costume class.”

Class of 1991

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Randall David Cook

Graduate with a Business degree; currently a playwright

“I came to Furman on a music scholarship (for tuba, boom boom boom) so was in marching band in the fall and symphonic band in the spring my first two years of college. Unsurprisingly, I hated having to sit through all the football games in an ugly wool uniform under a raging sun while carrying a heavy brass instrument on my left shoulder, so at the end of my sophomore year I said goodbye to all that. I’d made a lot of friends in the band, many of whom I have to this day, but I still felt dissatisfied and was wanting something more. When not enough males auditioned for All’s Well That Ends Well in the fall of my junior year, there was a second call for men, and Courtney Sullivan talked me into trying out. Because Phil Hill must have been desperate, I was cast as a solider and the king’s gentleman. And as awkward and unnatural as I felt every time I had to actually enter a scene, much less speak, from the moment rehearsals began I knew I’d finally found my place and my people. I loved the rehearsal process – even the growling, full-throated arguments between various members of the creative team during tech – and the camaraderie that developed between most everyone involved in the production, particularly my friendships with Courtney, Carl Sullivan and my eventual mentor in college, Nick Radel. Costume mishaps, the waiting in the green room, pre-show rituals, all of it: I was hooked. I didn’t act in another show at Furman, and I spent a lot of years and energy afterwards avoiding what I knew deep down was my calling, but my love for theater and the people who created it never abated. The All’s Well experience transformed me from a person who liked to watch theater into one who wanted to make it. In short, it was in this Playhouse that I had my life awakening.”

“I’m gonna cheat this question a bit, as my favorite personal memory in The Playhouse came after my days as a student. When I had the great privilege of returning to Furman as a guest artist in 2013 to do Pomp & Circumstance here, it was the truest kind of homecoming I could have ever had, a correction of sorts to what had been a few misguided decisions from my past. The fact that Rhett Bryson and Margaret Caterisano were designers on P&C only made the experience that much more special, as they’d been such a major part of the All’s Well experience. Then, merging past and present, I got to work with Jay Oney and so many wonderfully talented theater students on a brand new play, and for a few special months I was reminded daily of why and how I fell so deeply in love with the process of making theater. And to gild that lily, I discovered how much I enjoyed working with college students who are at the start of their own life and artistic journeys. Theater folk are a special lot, and though the tribe is always changing and moving, it fills my heart to know it exists, and makes me feel less alone.”

Class of 1992

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E. Bert Wallace

University Theatre Professor

“My time at FU, and more specifically in the Playhouse, was the most formative of my life. The camaraderie of the Drama Department was very special to me. The ‘soft skills’ of teamwork, creative problem solving, public presentation, confidence, etc. were really drilled into me at Furman. Everything I now do hearkens back in some way to my training there.”

“I really just loved every minute of it and could tell many stories. Once I was working the booth in the old Studio Theatre in the back of the building. A practical telephone sound effect had been rigged, but the wire was badly placed and I tripped on it, causing a blinding flash from the booth during a performance. The cue was coming up, so I ran back into the props storage area, found an old desk bell and rang it as quickly as I could when the time came. The actors had seen the flash and didn’t know if we were all dead, but soldiered on until they heard the strange non-telephone cue.”

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Tim Brown

High School Theatre Teacher

“I began teaching theatre immediately after graduating. This is my 28th year in SC public schools. I plan to retire in 2020 and hope to teach overseas for a few years.”

The Diviners stands out as an important production in my FU life. I have directed it several times since and always find it to be a rewarding production for my cast and myself.”

Class of 1994

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Doug Berky

Self-employed Freelance Theatre Performer who writes and produces his own material and tours it.

“I think one of the things I appreciate about the Playhouse is because we learn from it. One of my favorite memories was the idea of developing a Commedia play from a scenario in the 16th century. We spent the year learning how to improvise and then we took the scenario and created a play and then we did the play. They gave us the freedom to really do bad theatre but in actuality, it turned out really well. All the folks who were involved in it learned a lot and understood about taking risks and the kind of work that goes into it. So, I really enjoyed the freedom to explore and to test the limits of our abilities to grow and see if we can take them someplace else.”

Class of 1995

Kim (Talbert) Jennings

“Professional fundraiser at an independent school in Boston, volunteering in local theatres and with my school’s Robotics team, raising three kids”

“I will never forget the way the professors poured into our work as students - Phil Hill helping us hang lights late at night for the directing projects class, Bryson and the hours and hours spent in the shop, Margaret and the care she took to show us how to do the craft of costuming….all of that has impacted the way that I approach working with students. I learned true teamwork, the value of deeply and fully committing to something, sticking it out even when it’s hard, friendships and camaraderie, the magic of creativity and creation. Bryson believed in me and gave me leeway to stretch and learn in design. I was nurtured as a creative person and have always felt a level of confidence partly because of the independence we were given. We were expected to lead.”

“There is maybe no way to answer this. They are innumerable. I loved Phil Hill’s classes where we read dozens and dozens of plays. I loved the rain on the roof. Being a drama major and being with that specific cohort, was very special. I loved those people. Being a scene shop assistant gave me some of the very best hours of that time of my life. Is my name still on the walls in the scene shop tool room?

If I was forced to say just ONE thing it would be this: sitting in the dark for dress rehearsal, and the low hum and specific, happy smell of the hot dust on the fresnels when the stage lights first come up.”

Class of 1996

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Simon Crowe

Member of the Upstate Shakespeare Festival company in Greenville, South Carolina since 1999. The Festival, which turns 25 in 2019, is a free outdoor event produced in conjunction with the City of Greenville and the Warehouse Theatre. The mission is to make Shakespeare available and accessible to as many people as possible, from lifelong theatregoers to children seeing their first play.

“Since graduating from Furman I have acted in almost 50 plays. Besides the Shakespearean roles mentioned above I have been in plays by Tom Stoppard, Neil Simon, Caryl Churchill, David Ives, Aaron Sorkin, Lucas Hnath, and others. In 2007 I attended the Stella Adler Studio’s Summer Chekhov Intensive, and in 2019 I continued to pursue professional growth by auditioning for the summer intensive at Steppenwolf Theatre. Unfortunately, I did not get accepted to that program, but the experience of preparing the audition was quite valuable as it led to the discovery of a piece I’ve used to audition for other roles. I look forward to what the next phase of my artistic life will bring.”

“My chief memory of my time at The Playhouse in the early 1990’s is that I was excited about many aspects of making theatre but also not yet very good at any of them. I had come from a high school that didn’t pay much attention to theatre, and when I declared my major I thought of the choice as an exploration as opposed to the next step on some inevitable journey. I have fond memories of times in the Playhouse with friends – there were far fewer majors at that time then there are now – but when I think about what I do now as it relates to those years the theme that emerges is an appreciation of the craft and collaborative spirit it takes to make a successful show. I still don’t have much of a facility for costumes or lights, but understanding the work that goes into those disciplines has I hope made me a more generous actor.”

“In 2009 I was asked to play Jacques in As You Like It alongside a talented student cast in the final show directed by Doug Cummins. I think of that production with great affection not only because of the role I got to play, but because of the level of enthusiasm and energy I found in coming back to the department. Since that show, members of that cast have gone on to achievements such as graduate degrees, teaching careers, and winning awards for their designs. As a graduate I am extremely proud to see fellow Paladin theatre alumni going out into the world and doing good work. The future of theatre at Furman is very bright indeed.”

Class of 1998

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Kate (Chambless) McMullan

Fitness Instructor

“I had a career in theatre education from1998-2004, when mom life happened. So many aspects of a theatre education have influenced me since then. In my current fitness instructor profession, just being able to teach when I am ‘not feeling it’ is HUGE. My daughter (born into the CofC theatre family in 2002) is a junior in high school and has been active in tech theatre since day 1!”

“One of my favorite memories is testing my “bowline on a bite” by climbing up a makeshift ladder and leaning back in Stagecraft and earning the honor of Master Carpenter for Madman and the Nun (and the shenanigans that ensued.)”

Class of 2000

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Brian Ground

Graduated with a degree in Studio Art; freelance graphic designer and teaches English as a second language in Poland

“I was introduced to the Theatre Arts Department when I took a required Drama 11 course my first semester at Furman. With no previous Theatre experience, I was taken with the professionalism and tireless attention to detail that went into each aspect of a production. Also the sense of history and continuity in the playhouse; all of the previous productions were remembered by photos in the green room behind the stage, and many alumni were still connected to the department. As an artist and technician, I was impressed by how well the scene shop was organized and the precision with which things were designed and built. The sense of fun the faculty brought to their jobs was also instructive. The Theatre Department was a place where many different disciplines came together in support of each production. This interdisciplinary approach, and the idea that skills from myriad fields can (and should) be learned while working on a project has shaped me as an artist.”

“The camaraderie and manic focus of strike after the last show of each production. The unearthly glow produced by a pickle being plugged into the power grid during a musical performance / physics demonstration / in a darkened theatre. And, of course, Theatre Darts.”

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Christine Aeschliman Forrester

"I worked in professional theatre as a stage manager from 2000-2002 until family obligations caused me to ‘retire.’ I’m now a Human Resources Manager at a professional services firm in Atlanta. My specialty is Performance Management, in which I spend a lot of time coaching and counseling professionals on how they do their job and mitigating risk for the firm.”

“My profession and degree don’t seem to have much to do with each other, but my Theatre Arts experiences have shaped me in so many different ways:- I am comfortable with working with all levels of professionals, even the high maintenance ones- I work well under pressure and can pivot quickly when things go sideways- I know how to team and project manage- I stretch myself to learn new and challenging things and know that even if I don’t get it right the first time, it’s still worth trying.”

“So many good memories!- The smell of the Playhouse- The magic that was in the air when the lights went off backstage and the House opened- Pinky/Theatre Darts (FIB! Butt kicking!)- Dr. Hill- Everything about Waiting for Godot (being SM, the music, all female crew, Jack Tillman…)- Stagecraft projects- Nearly flunking Lighting Spring term Senior year and being tutored by Freshman Will Lowry.”

Meredith Benson

Working wardrobe on Broadway

“I got to take a stab at acting & directing, thanks to the Theatre Arts exposure to all elements of theatre work - which has helped me relate better to some of my co-workers currently. And Phil Hill’s classes & textbook collection of plays, gave me a great base of theatre knowledge that I continue to draw on today.”

“I have fond memories of a lot of late nights, painting flats at the scene shop with friends from the department. I also loved taking the make-up class & learning about applying facial hair or old age make-up.”

Class of 2001

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Tiffany Bordelon Walsh

Currently: “I empower women to take control of their healthcare and bodies by assisting them to help their bodies heal, become aware of and claim their emotions, and living their best life all through natural protocols and doTERRA Essential Oils. I also chase around 2 young boys while scooping cat litter, cleaning up a puddle of who knows what, serving lunch and teaching on a conference call - so, I’m basically Superwoman.”

“I use my Theatre degree Every. Single. Day. As an entrepreneur. As a wife. As a mom. As an event designer. As an actress. I was able to hold a conversation about fabric and carpentry with Harrison Ford. I blew my air conditioner maintenance man’s mind by installing the thermostat while he replaced our unit. I demoed my own kitchen for a remodel. I’ve taught my son how to use basic and power tools…I’ve taught my husband how not to kill himself with power tools. I’ve refinished countless pieces of furniture. I’ve installed numerous AC window units. I’ve designed and redesigned houses. I’ve designed/produced/and co-starred a 2 woman show for agents and producers in LA. I’ve worked with some of the top producers in Los Angeles. I’ve worked with the Vice President of Sony.

Yeah, I think my degree has slightly shaped who I am, has shaped my children’s lives, and will continue to do so until I die.”

“Just one?!

The many hours playing Rhett’s slot machine.

Filling professors’ offices with annoying things like balloons, butterflies, and more.

The squirrel shorting out the light circuit box.

Summer Commedia Dell Arte.

The ghost light.

The theatre ghost.

Tiffany light.

Being the first to produce, design and star in a fully student run show. 2 woman show - Collected Stories. We basically started Senior Thesis. You’re welcome.

Being the first class of ‘Theatre Arts’ Majors to graduate (vs ‘Drama’).


The anonymous positive/love notes to one another on the callboard.

Lighting. Lighting. Lighting.”

Class of 2003

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Bob Beshere

Editing and copywriting for an advertising firm in Greensboro, NC. Works primarily on the Walmart and AAA accounts, but also does writing for Sysco Foods, Gold’s Gym, and Four Seasons Hotels.

“The Theatre Arts Department shaped my life in three main ways. 1) The creative space that the Furman Theatre allowed me stoked my interest and love of the arts beyond measure. 2) The rigorous discipline and challenge to leave my comfort zone(s) has paved for me a kind of fearlessness when it comes to taking on new endeavors and career jumps. And, 3) I still perform live comedy to this day (every weekend) and run an RPG/comedy podcast that has been produced successfully for nearly four years.”

“My final show as a performer was Chekhov’s Three Sisters, directed by Jay Oney. I still have vivid memories of that show and its rehearsal process, namely the emotional recall work that was required to deliver an authentic performance. Jay and Carol guided me through the process and helped me execute my favorite dramatic work to date. That, and staying up WAY too late to work on design projects in the lab!”

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Will Lowry

Freelance scenographer and design professor

“My experience at Furman with the Theatre Arts Department absolutely shaped my life. I am in a career in theatre now, both as a freelance designer and as an educator. At Furman, I learned how to be a storyteller, how to solve problems, how to plan ahead, how to collaborate with others, how to research questions, how to lead a team, how to convey my ideas, how to push myself to the next level, how to investigate space, how to manage a budget, how to focus on what’s necessary, how to work materials—wood, cloth, light, paint, bodies—into art, how to read a play, how to infuse art-making with joy, how to create an inviting atmosphere, how to remember the past, how to aim for the future, how to inspire by teaching, how to lift the dreams of others, and how to achieve all of these things when all you are given is a ‘temporary building’ that’s decades old. I am so thankful that I am who I am today because of my time in the Playhouse.”

“Dozens and dozens of memories come to mind that it’s so hard to narrow it down—especially considering the Playhouse is home to the countless hours with those that would become my best friends for life and the discovery of my career path. But I’ll pick one that at the time would not have been a favorite personal memory: completing paint samples for Stagecraft. I’m not going to suggest that all Stagecraft classes would agree with this, and I’m also not going to try to rewrite history and say it was all glitter and happiness at the time. However, the complexity of feelings of this memory speaks to me.

There were a dozen of us there, late at night (1am? 3am? Later?) trying to finish the collection of techniques for the project’s due date the next morning. Yes, there was exhaustion, there was stress, and there was anguish. But the sharing of these feelings among those there that night had a way of mitigating them as well. And within that sharing of the difficult experience—perhaps BECAUSE of the sharing—there was also joy. And there was creativity. There was discovery and invention. There was guidance, there was trust, and there was accomplishment. There was growth. Was it always pleasant? Of course not. But my memory of that night is one of experimentation, rigor, and creative expression, surrounded by friends pursuing the same. What more could we ask of theatre-making?

That said, I’m pretty sure I got a B-.”

Class of 2006

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Chess Schmidt

Campus librarian at ECPI University, Columbia SC

“This is a difficult question to answer as my experience with the theatre department, the building, the students, the experiences have shaped so many different parts of my life. I learned to be diligent worker and how to plan out large projects from my time working as a student worker for the scene shop (which I did from the first day to near the end of my program). I spent a many fond moments exploring the curiosities and inspirations from old set pieces or mementos throughout the building (especially when I needed to find something to sketch for scene deign)! I know that my time working with Mickie taught me to treat all people with the dignity and respect they deserve. I still use improv techniques and acting games as new ways to teach fellow librarians and instructors. Going on the study abroad trip let me be fiercely independent at a time when I needed it most. I gained the closest group of friends I will ever have and we meet each year for New Years. I got to be part of a family of creative artists and act in plays that I’m still proud of today. Most importantly, I learned to be comfortable in my own skin.”

“My favorite personal memory comes from a late night working on a costume design project. I walked up to Nick Foster (since he was the only other gay person in the department at the time) and said, “so… I’m gay.” He was the first person I said those words outloud to. His response? “Duh!” And then we talked some more and worked on our projects and listened to music. This seems like a muted memory compared to some of the stories from the shows I was part of or even espresso during theatre darts, but it shines brightest for me. I was welcomed with little drama and much love at the time when I needed it most.”

Jeb Casey

"I teach and run a Theater department at Helena High School in Helena, AL”

“It taught me how to tinker in the depths of tech and think for myself so I could further my own knowledge of what I don’t know.”

Favorite memories in The Playhouse? “Long nights designing and fun mornings darting.”

Class of 2007

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Charles Murdock Lucas

Scene Designer and Projection/Media Designer for Theatre and Opera; Proud member of United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829, IATSE; Associate Professor, Head of Scene Design, Head of Projection and Integrated Media Design for the BA and MFA programs at San Diego State University

“The Theatre Arts Department, the seasons, the classes, the students, and the faculty are responsible for starting me on my career path. The relationships I formed with the faculty and students there have become lifelong friendships. I did more in 4 years of undergrad than I ever could have imagined.”

“I now work as a designer, and I treasure memories of designing at Furman, but the first memory that comes to mind is the very last curtain call of the my last production as an actor in the playhouse. I remember very consciously trying to pay attention to that bittersweet moment, and store it up forever.”

Class of 2008

Laura Winkler

Ticket Office Supervisor at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton, WI.

“I came to Furman with my major listed as undecided. During Stagecraft, spring of my freshman year, it occurred to me that maybe my major should be theatre. My parents were less surprised by this than I was! I am so glad did! I have been lucky enough to work in theatre in some way since graduation, primarily in ticket offices, as well as roles as stage manager, carpenter and/or technical director for local theatre groups.”

One of her favorite memories from The Playhouse: “Playing Tetris in Prop Storage!”

Class of 2009

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Jacob Parker

Police Officer

“Being a theatre student at Furman radically transformed who I was as a person, built empathy and understanding, and gave me confidence to take on a host of new challenges in a new and different part of the country.”

“Our production of The Good Doctor was probably just ok in execution, but the process of making it was very joyous and let me develop a fond relationship with the director, Rhett, and my fellow actors.”

Class of 2010

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Mary Beth Smith

Graduated with a degree in Chemistry; currently lives in Los Angeles working in a compliance testing lab for cannabis“

After loving my experience at Furman as a science major who spent a probably unhealthy amount of my time in classes and shows with the Theatre Arts department, I moved to Chicago and worked as a scientist while I spent a probably unhealthy amount of time learning and performing improv and sketch comedy. I recently relocated to Los Angeles with my husband where I work as a scientist. It’s warmer here, and less people are good at improv and sketch comedy and more people are willing to pay you to do it on camera. I’ve been able to entertain a lot of audiences over the years because my Furman experience showed me I could do it.”

“It was all the best. The first show I did had all the professors and a few alumni in it. Felt like I’d won some weird freshman lottery of getting treated like an artist and an adult while I was laughing until I cried in rehearsals. I grew up a theatre kid, but I never thought I’d get to do it in college without being a major. The department always made me feel like there was a place I was welcome—I made some lifelong friends and still have a passion and desire to perform because of how much I was taught and encouraged. I met some of the funniest, kindest, and most hardworking artists I know in the Playhouse. I’d stay up all night working on a paper or cramming for a test and still make time to roast some fools at darts in the morning. That’s how much spending time there meant to me.

“During a dress rehearsal for one of my last shows at Furman, my scene partner (a fellow non-major who is also still a performer) was having trouble accessing the emotional weight of the breakup scene we were rehearsing. I listened as our student director (who is still directing and shaping theatre communities professionally) pushed him to explore how hurtful it would be for his character to be doing that. To think of how awful he’d feel to be doing such a ripping thing to someone he truly cared about. We ran the scene one last time, the best we’d ever do it and benchmark for every performance. My scene partner shed some tears after we cut and simply said, ‘it’s so sad.’ I’d never witnessed someone have such a revelation in a rehearsal before. It felt so human and powerful, and I had a massive amount of respect and pride for my peers for achieving it.”

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April Andrew

Graduated with a degree in German; currently working as a freelance Costume Designer

“Furman Theatre literally changed my career path from foreign language education to theatre. I wouldn’t be working in theatre today if I had not been brought on board to work in their costume shop and been introduced to design by Margaret.”

“I loved being backstage for our production of As You Like It. All of my favorite people were involved in some way in this production, and you could feel the camaraderie between us.”

Aly Howard

Graduated with Theatre Arts & French degrees; currently a wedding planner

“I use skills that I learned at Furman Theatre on a daily basis. Furman Theatre made me a more confident and competent individual.”

“Literally every day at the theatre held great memories, but some of my favorites are from the morning dart games. It was so refreshing to be informal and have so much fun with my professors, alumni, and anyone else who happened to stop by.”

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Ruxandra Cantir

Theatre maker, performer, and teacher

“The Furman Theatre Arts Department was my first foray into theatre making. It was also the first time I felt part and actively participated in an artist community. I became completely immersed in it - it was my life at Furman, and it has become a model for how I lead my professional life now/what I strive for: creating work in a community of artists who are equally dedicated to theatre, who provide an imaginative, cultural, racial, and social diversity to my life and work, and inspire me every day.”

“My first class with Mr. Bryson. It was my first Theatre class - in my first semester at Furman. I was a bright-eyed, quiet international student who was shy about her theatre/artistic ambitions and intentions. Mr. Bryson - with his jokes, retractable keychain, and forthright demeanour - was the introduction to a world I was craving to enter. One of eccentric characters, (physical) comedy, absurd stories, and collaborative working. I was terrified, but so delighted in that first class. A parados of feelings that really encapsulates working in the theatre making and performing new work! Happy 50th! Big love to all the Furman Theatre Department!”

Class of 2012

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Cortney McEniry

Artistic Director and Programs Manager of UVA Acts, an applied theatre project at the University of Virginia

“The most valuable things I received from my Furman Theatre education were a multidisciplinary skillset, a sense of myself as an individual artist, and a multitude of well-supported experiences in collaboration. We received consistently encouraging, challenging attention from our incredible faculty, and I was able to explore so many different modes of expression, performance, and leadership. I credit Furman with two of my strongest assets as an artist and practitioner: 1.) a variety of skillsets that have led to consistent and rewarding employment, and 2.) a self-driven work ethic defined by curiosity and collaboration.”

“I remember the first time I walked into The Playhouse. I was planning on transferring after my first semester; I was very unhappy about attending Furman and staying in the Southeast for university. Dr. Oney talked to me about my goals, offered me the opportunity to both house manage and stage manage my first semester, and walked me around the Playhouse introducing me to all of the faculty. I met Margaret, who found out I knew how to use a sewing machine and immediately offered me a Federal Work Study position in the costume shop–which meant a lot, because funds were tight for me. I remember thinking, ‘I guess this place will be okay until I transfer–this will give me plenty to do to keep busy.’ I spent all of orientation week in the Playhouse, and by mid-terms, I decided to stay. I realized there was no way I’d get the kind of individual attention I received there at any of the universities I was looking at. I’m so, so grateful that I made that decision and never looked back.”

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Ardarius "AD" Blakely

An actor & director based in Chicago and represented by Actors Talent Group, Inc.

Recently, he directed Top Dog/Under Dog for Beverly Arts Center. Select Past Acting Credits include: Peter and the Starcatcher (Fighting Prawn), Henry V (Bardolph), King Lear (Edmond), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius), The Tempest (Caliban) at Theater at Monmouth; Romeo & Juliet (Paris) at Teatro Vista; Generation Gap (Aaron) The Annoyance.

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Stephen Howard

Graduated with a Communications degree; currently teaching with Special School District in St. Louis and working towards becoming a high school math teacher

“The Theatre Arts Department was where I felt most at home during my time at Furman, and ultimately taught me how to collaborate with others. Working together with like-minded individuals was a huge part of my experience and this is something I have carried into my work now as an educator.”

“One of my favorite personal memories was working with the incredibly talented members of improvable cause. These were some of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life and I feel so fortunate to have been on the team with them. I loved performing shows in the playhouse and will forever have a special attachment to that space.”

Class of 2013

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Stephen Trammell

Technical Director for a private school and a community theatre, and Carpenter for most Atlanta theatres.

“[Furman University Theatre Arts] gave me the skills and confidence to pursue theatre as a career and succeed in that venture.”

Lysistrata is still quite possibly the most fun I have had producing and acting in any play.”

Jon Pierce

Fashion Designer at Jon Pierce Fashions (Owner/Founder)

“[Furman University Theatre] taught me the importance of knowing key parts of a business strategy (box office and sales), teamwork and sewing (costume design/crafts as a student and a worker/T.A.), and finally gave me an appreciation for many types of artistic mediums which still influence me to this day.”

Favorite memories include: “The group bonding that we had during the run of Lysistrata doing P90X, the laughs shared backstage, and the opening night Steak and Shake run.”

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Caroline Jane Davis

Caroline recently returned to Furman after completing her MFA in Theatrical Performance and Pedagogy at Texas Tech University in 2017. She currently serves as an Lecturer of Theatre Arts & Education, and as testing coordinator for the Student Office of Accessibility Resources. Caroline also works as a freelance actor, director, dramaturg, and teaching artist.

“My work in the Playhouse totally shaped who I am today, which is part of the reason I’m so grateful to be back! The beautiful thing about a theatre education at Furman is that students are expected to learn about every facet of theatremaking, from acting to design to community engagement, and everything in between. My ‘theatre generalist’ background has enabled me to communicate more effectively with my collaborative teams because Jay, Maegan, Rhett, and Margaret made sure I knew how to speak to every production member in their language. I know what it is like to tread the boards and to help fix them, so my perspective is broader than those who might have specialized in one particular area early on.”

“My favorite memory in the Playhouse was during our February 2013 run of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt. In the middle of an early scene, the audience started to whisper and I couldn’t figure out why. Turns out there was a gigantic spider slowly dropping down from the lighting fixture above my head! I couldn’t see it until it was right in front of my face; my habit was blocking the view! I had about three seconds to think, so I incorporated a big old open-handed SLAP onto the desk right as the spider made landfall. I did the rest of that scene with a giant flattened spider on my palm. I barely had enough time to wipe it on the railing outside before my next entrance! Afterward I spoke to a couple of patrons who were friends of Rhett’s, who assumed the spider was one of his famous magic tricks! I assured them that no, in fact, those spider guts were very real. But hey, the show must go on!”

Class of 2014

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Grace Bernardo

Graduated with a degree in Vocal Performance major; currently a freelance actor in New York City

“The Theatre Arts Department at Furman gave me not only a chance to perform, but the opportunity to work intimately on the details of acting. The Playhouse is an incredible space for fine-tuning character work and exploring the relationship between story and spectator, actor and audience. I found the nature of play to be valued in both my classes and rehearsals and felt that I was encouraged to explore and closely observe and learn from those around me, finding my classes which included non-theatre majors often the most insightful. I miss that space and the relationships it fostered. While Furman introduced me to some classics, it also fueled my own personal investigation. In New York, I have pursued companies who largely focus on the classics with innovative staging and contemporary stylizing.”

“One of my all-time favorite Playhouse memories (and something I now recommend to companies I work with) is from the production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee directed by Maegan Azar. We had a wonderful cast and a genuinely good time rehearsing together. A few weeks before we were to open, Maegan had us do a run and all switch parts. It was hilarious and gave me such an appreciation for each character and the work my fellow actors had done in bringing them to life. In trying my hand at someone else’s role, I learned much more about my own (and was appropriately humiliated by my own lack of skill!).”

Class of 2015

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Caitlin Cain

Currently working for Noble Systems in Atlanta, Georgia and stage managing at theatres including the Alliance Theatre, Aurora Theatre, and Actor’s Express.

“I remember standing on the stage before half hour during THREEPENNY OPERA, my last show at Furman. I felt sense of peace: this was it. I was about to embark on my journey of stage managing professionally in just a few short months. What I didn’t know at the time (but I wish I had known): my generalist theatre degree was the best possible training I could have to become a stage manager. This is basic knowledge, but I hadn’t put two and two together amid the hustle and bustle of my last semester. An SM interacts with EVERY theatre facet. This background helps when communicating with actors, relaying info to designers (even when you almost fail stagecraft) and being a teacher and mentor to ASMs emerging in the field. I could go through every inside joke (Why is it always Jay? “Douchous Baggus is dead, let us rejoice!” MIC DROP in the middle of theatre history and “Note to self, no more muskrat jokes” in the middle of Imaginary Invalid. Just to name a few) and every fond memory BUT…..and here’s your BIG BUTT, RHETT…. the things that are meaningful are the things I keep with me everyday. I wouldn’t be a stage manager if I didn’t go to Furman. It’s a selfless job and it’s a tough job, but it’s rewarding and I will always be thankful for the connections I made during my time in the playhouse.”

Class of 2016

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Robert Fuson

Insurance Sales & Freelance Theatre Artist (Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Stage Managing, and Sound Designing) in Atlanta

“Asking us to understand the theatre from a multifaceted approach, knowing at least a little in every field has been instrumental in helping me find success. I was given, if not the tools to do a project, the resources to learn how to do a project. It has helped me to be a better collaborator and someone who is reliable with any assigned project.”

“Being a part of the ensemble of HAIR was the first time I really understood the joys of ensemble building and storytelling in a show. I have gone to see that show every time I have had the opportunity since and have felt a personal connection with it every time.”

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Erin Barnett

MFA Costume Design student at Indiana University

“The Furman theatre department shaped me by allowing me to learn about all different aspects of the theatre. I loved having the opportunity to take classes in areas I didn’t know as much about, because it gave me a deeper appreciation for the work that everyone does on a production.”

“I have two favorite memories that come to mind as my time during a theatre major. The first is when Dakota and I stayed during fall break to work on light hang for Hair—even though I knew nothing about lighting—and we figured out how to make all of the glass bottles that we hung from the grid light up. Another of my favorite memories is everyone being in the annex so late after rehearsals working on homework (always complete with a midnight trip to Waffle House or Cookout).”

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Kailie Melchior

Graduated from Penn State Law in May 2019 and recently accepted a one-year judicial clerkship with Judge Ammerman at the Clearfield County Courthouse in Clearfield, PA.

“Furman Theatre Arts department puts a heavy emphasis on storytelling. From the original meeting where the cast, crew and designers all gather to share their ideas and hopes for the production to the final strike that tears the new world back down again, the focus is on the story. During my time in law school, being able to communicate a story has helped me in distinguishing case facts in briefings and arguing a client’s case in front of a judge.”

“I loved playing darts with the professors. I still remember going to theatre darts before a knot-tying test for Stage Craft feeling quite hopeless. In the hour before the test, Gene Funderburk taught me all the knots, and I aced it (one of the only tests I passed in that class #noshame). He wasn’t paid by the school, and he didn’t have to spend his time helping us. But, he did because that’s what it means to be a part of the Furman Theatre Department family. Three years later, I still feel like a part of that family.”

Class of 2017

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Kenzie Wynne

Recently completed her MFA at East 15 Acting School in London; currently working as a freelance actor and teaching artist, saving up money for a big move in a year to LA

“Ultimately, the Furman Theatre department gave me my tribe. It’s a wonderful, eclectic group of people who love one another deeply and you feel that the minute you walk into the building. The Furman Theatre Department gave me some of my best friends and confidants. Some of my biggest belly laughs. Some of my latest and longest nights. Some truly incredible and reliable mentors. Some good cries. All things that I feel a person can only experience once they’ve found their tribe. So yeah, that’s how the department shaped me. By giving me my people who make me feel like I can be brave.”

“I cannot narrow it down to only one memory. There are just too many. But a few that come to mind are sharing a dressing room with Clare during The Birthday Party. We had too much fun. Oh! Oh! Also when Clare and I just got “drunker” for that one part in Rumors every time we did it. Too fun. Directing Pat and Sarah in that scene from The Shadowbox was pretty fun too! What fab humans. Romeo & Juliet rehearsals with Baezar. The best. The tenderness during Women of Lockerbie… just the whole vibe in the room during those rehearsals. Brandishing a feather duster like a sword at Jay during Imaginary Invalid my freshman year. Having a really great shared audition moment with Lizzie for These Shining Lives. Late night life chats in the Annex. That time I was crying really hard over a boy and Derek spent time with me and made sure I was ok… also in the Annex. I swear that place sees us all at our most damn vulnerable. And ok so I guess this doesn’t count as the actual building itself but the Waffle House down the road is kinda like an adjacent limb to the Playhouse honestly and every 3am coffee there was just absolute gold. The late night shift at that place is a tv show waiting to happen and experiencing it with Dakota and Derek had me in tears laughing so hard.”

Lauren Girouard

Theatre Arts and Neuroscience double major while at Furman; now has a Master’s degree in Drama Therapy from NYU and is an Experimental Psychology PhD student at the University of Louisville

“I’ve mentioned to my closest mentor during my time at Furman, Will Lowry, that I feel just as much like a designer now as I did while designing productions in New York or while at Furman. My masters had an obvious connection to both of my degrees, but I like that this time around it’s more subtle. While creating a study, I pay particularly close attention to how I want my stimuli to look and interact with one another. I use the same software I used as a Theatre Arts student: Audacity, Photoshop, etc. to create a product I’m proud of and that helps me to collect data the way that I need to.”

Favorite memory in The Playhouse? “Dakota Adams and I once stayed up all night to paint some signage as a sendoff to a well loved faculty member. That project, that time with a close friend, and its final product remains one of my dearest memories. There was something so thrilling in feeling comfortable in that space, like it was my home. The friendships and mentorships that I experienced at the playhouse definitely defined my experiences there.”

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Clare Ruble

Director of Corporate Development and Events at the Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, South Carolina.

“It’s hard to narrow it down to just one. That tiny tin shack in the back of the McAlister’s parking lot poured more love, support and confidence into me as a young artist and professional. From dance parties in the studio, very late nights in the computer lab and costume shop, smack talking at the dartboard, and performances on the main stage, that rickety old building was such a home. I could say memory after memory, but there is one day I remember that I think encompasses the spirit of The Playhouse. I was in Rhett’s stagecraft class and was painting my brick cloth. Because it was a normal, busy day, all the professors happened to be walking through. Each took the time to stop and talk to me and offer advice on either how to paint better (or really faster) or realize that not everything is precious or just see how I was doing with life in general. It was a memory I hold close to my heart because in that one afternoon I felt so many people care for me and my work. It was special. That’s because the Furman Playhouse is special.”

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Sarah Cushman

Teaching and acting in Chicago

“The Theatre Arts Department fundamentally changed the way I view success. I’ve opened myself to countless more opportunities and have been far more accepting of my career because of Furman Theatre.”

“Any late night spent in the annex with my favorite people! Especially when it involved Erin Barnett’s interpretive dancing.”

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Haley Brown

Graduated with degrees in Theatre Arts and Religion; after working as the assistant lighting coordinator at Lehigh University for 2 years, she returned to school to pursue an MFA in Theatrical Design with an emphasis in Lighting Design at University of Georgia Athens

“A unique aspect of Furman Theater is the emphasis the department places on encouraging students to design the main stage shows. These design opportunities focused my desire to have a professional career in the theater industry and having two artists in residence, both Furman Theater alumni, showed me that it was a possibility. Designing shows and having a mentor give feedback, paired with the design classes, not only honed my ability as a designer but also paved the path for professional work. Having four realized designs in my portfolio, as well as the theoretical designs from class was crucial in getting my first job out of school.”

“There is a tradition in the department where a person or a group of people are chosen to close a show forever at the end of strike by saying “strike is over.” It’s a big honor and one of my favorite memories is closing Durang/Durang with the other first time designers of that production. Strike in general at Furman is such a team building experience, and being able to close the show with these designers who worked so hard to bring magic to the production is something I won’t soon forget.”

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Sam Nelson

Graduate Student at The University of Alabama studying Acting

“My experience as a student at Furman’s Theatre Arts department has developed my perspective as an artist, shaped the goals of my career, and inspired me to never stop learning.”

“Learning to juggle with Rhett and alan! Not only did they show me how to develop this particular new skill, they also taught me the best approach to learning any new skill in an effective way. I’ve learned many other skills by following their guidance on breaking it down to simplicity and always ending practice sessions on a small victory so I’ll come back to the next practice wanting to learn more!”

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Salvatore Donzella

Freelance actor in New York City

“Furman Theatre not only offered me amazing training in acting, it turned me into a well rounded theatre artist. I have used all the knowledge that I learned at Furman through out my entire grad schooling and now in NYC in the professional world. Also by participating in the plays at Furman it taught me professionalism. The director and all of the staff treated the student productions as professional shows. Because of this I knew how to act in a professional theatre. I soon realised I was one of few actors leaving college that knew how to conduct himself in a professional manner. I owe all of that to Furman Theatre.”

“On one of the days leading to graduation, I was hanging out in the costume shop with Margaret. She taught me how to make clothes pin dolls. I then made a clothes pin doll of myself as the Nurse from Romeo and Juliet (my final show at Furman). It might still be there! Check about the iron!”

Class of 2018

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Clark Spillane

Graduated with Theatre Arts & Politics and International Affairs degrees; currently a Financial Analyst for Mediterranean Shipping Company

“The Theatre Arts Department shaped my life by allowing me to attend Furman University. By offering me a scholarship, I was able to afford to attend the best Liberal Arts college in the great state of South Carolina. In addition to allowing me to attend Furman, the Theatre Arts Department was a home away from home for many students, including myself. It is a place where artists can be free to create new ways of expressing themselves and their ideas. Without the Theatre Arts Department, I would not be the man I am today.”

“I have many fond memories as a Theatre Arts student. Most of them were during the various Theatre Arts classes offered inside The Playhouse. Furman is known for its small class size, so I was able to have close relationships with my Theatre Arts teachers. One of my fondest memories was in class with professor Jay Oney, where he would frequently crack gut-busting Theatre jokes.”

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Elizabeth Budinoff

Currently auditioning for shows and networking in New York City.

“I had a different experience than most theatre majors. I joined the program as a junior after spending my fall semester abroad with the department. Deciding to jump into the major late in the game was nerve racking. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be welcomed but also was calmed knowing all of those I had become close friends with in the British Isles would be there. That first day back on campus I remember sitting in stagecraft and the whole class sang “Happy Declaration Day” to me. It made the transition easier knowing they wanted to celebrate my being there. The next three semesters were jam packed with every required class for the major and I wouldn’t change that for the world. The all nighters in the annex and late nights in the costume shop will forever be my fondest college memories. these people aren’t just classmates - they are friends and confidants you keep close to your heart.”

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Elli Caterisano

Graduated with Theatre Arts & Music degrees; currently an MFA Acting candidate at University of Montana

“The theatre program at Furman University is severely underrated. The faculty and staff care about the students and work with them on what I believe to be a graduate level in an undergraduate setting. I came into graduate school more than prepared and confident in my abilities as an actor. They provided me the set of knowledge and skills I needed to produce superior work in my current location.”

“Getting to have lunch with my mom every day, Theatre History class, Stagecraft (believe it or not), and working on HAIR. Hard to choose one memory. I essentially lived in the playhouse during my time at Furman.”

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Courtney Dorn

Synchronicity Theatre’s Administrative Intern. She is also auditioning around Atlanta.

“I studied varying aspects of theatre and my limits were pushed, I’m a more confident theatre artist. I can paint a set, sew up a tear in a costume, recite a monologue, direct a scene, design a set, tell you all about Greek theatre, and more. Because of these lessons, I can make theatre happen if it isn’t happening for me—I can create things on my own. I further gained a deeper appreciation for my colleagues and I understand the utmost importance of collaboration in this field.”

“It’s cruel to pick a favorite memory from my time as a Theatre Arts Major in The Playhouse! Some of my favorite nights as a freshman and sophomore were when we went out to Waffle House or Cookout after a late-night study session. Although, my favorite memories all seem to include dancing backstage: before the second act of Hair with my tribe, with the actors dressed as clowns before Kappa Kappa Scream, and acting/dancing to Clare Ruble and Sam Nelson’s ‘What Keeps A Man Alive’ during The Threepenny Opera. Those in The Playhouse always found a way to celebrate each other and the work we were doing despite stress, projects, and sleep deprivation.”

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Connor Courtney

Stationed in Virginia Beach and is training to be a Cryptologic Warfare Officer for the United States military.

“I was the stage manager for a musical called Hair and it was really my first time stage managing. It was getting thrown into the pan. It was a huge show with a huge cast and had huge light and sound requirements. For a new stage manager, this is a very big point of stress. It’s a lot of getting thrown into that situation of not knowing. Kind of figuring it out as I went along. I remember the night we finally finished tech and we were going through the light cues for the first time altogether. I remember the opening lights coming up and there’s this one special light cue where there’s a bottle hanging from the ceiling with lights up slowly as an actor is raised and touching that light. I remember sitting in the booth and having this moment where the perception of “where I had come to where I was now.” We had just finished tech, this beautiful moment is happening onstage and I had come to where I was without knowing anything. Getting thrown into this situation and becoming apart of something that was beautiful and meaningful. It was a really beautiful and small moment.”

“Coming in as a junior officer, you’re not expected to be an expert on what you do. In fact, you probably never will be. But, you’re expected to come in with confidence, come in willing to learn and grow, and then eventually, you get to have those moments again where you’re just working on something and then you realize that you came a long way. And now you’re a part of something meaningful.”

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Drake W. Shadwell

Disney Cast Member

“Furman surrounded me with artists and mentors that were passionate about the work they do and caring of the students they taught. Both peers and professors alike were committed to giving more than what was expected if it meant reaching for excellence. They taught me the power of collaboration, the respect for hard work and the meaning of a found family. Theatre became more than a career or a calling, it showed me my ikigai, my purpose for life. I had my role within the department and I found that I was valued in that role and it pushed me to improve so that I could benefit the larger whole. I trust the teachers to continue treating every student as a new member of a grand family and give those people that same sense of belonging that I felt.”

“My junior year was marked by incredibly long hours and intense self doubt. I felt lost and unsure of my ability to connect emotionally with anyone or anything. I’d lost faith in my ability and theatre’s ability to touch people. It was on a night that I was drained to my core and fighting to keep myself going, that I swiped through the side door of The Playhouse and worked my way through the backstage area. Before I got to my work station in the back, I heard voices coming from the main stage. I ducked behind the proscenium wall to watch. A senior was practicing his monologues for Senior Synthesis and I was mesmerized. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t look away. He came to the end, I barely kept silent as I became overwhelmed with emotion. “How much time do I have? How much time do I have left?” I could see him beseech an audience that wasn’t there and his whole body and his whole voice was full with the emotional connection that comes from understanding someone else’s words so personally that they feel like your own. I found that I understood them too, as clearly as if I’d written them for him to speak back to me just in this moment. I’ll never forget telling him how honored I was to have gotten to work with him or the way we laughed at the fact that we were both crying as we hugged each other in the middle of that abandoned theatre. That stage allowed him to reach out and touch my heart exactly when I needed it and show me why it is worth every long night in that small building at the edge of campus. It really is worth every midnight hour spent, to feel just a brief moment of pure gold.”

Class of 2019

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Karsen Green

Attending UNCG for an MFA in Drama (Design) with a focus in costumes.

“My favorite memory from the theatre department is when Anne, Ellie, and I did our understudy performance of Hair. We had worked so hard and waited so long for this one big performance and when it finally happened we had the best time, together.”

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Ellie Peoples

Attending Wake Forest University for graduate school

“My favorite memory was freshman year when Anne Morgan, Karsen Green, and I were all understudies for Hair. On opening night, we decided to make gifts for the entire cast. We got little goody bags and put little hippie stickers on them (and put little gummi worms in them that said, “Pick up your glow worms and glow.”) We personalized all of the gifts and that was our first “love you theatre family” moment.”

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Tess Kamody

Pursuing a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee

“My favorite memory in the theatre department is from Arcadia my freshman year. My best friend was working on wardrobe crew and I was an assistant stage manager, and she would come stand by me at my monitor during the last few moments of the show. We would quietly recite the last few lines together and tear up when the actors blew out the candles onstage. It is my favorite scene out of all the shows I have been a part of, and it was even more special that we got to watch it together every night.”

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Patrick Fretwell

Studyied Bunraku Puppetry Theatre for the summer of 2019 in Nagahama City, Japan and then a theatre marketing apprenticeship with the Cleveland Play House.

“My favorite Furman Theatre memory has to be on scholarship audition day. The week before, I auditioned for a BFA program and really felt as though I was only looking at Furman because of my family connection with the school. After hearing a quick pep talk from Maegan Azar, I was on a campus tour with the rest of the people auditioning and I started talking to Clare Ruble and Kenzie Wynne. It took just 5 minutes for them to start talking to me as if they’d known me for years (it helped that they knew my brother Joe or “Joe-Bear” as they liked to call him). The rest of the day was worry-free. I felt energized and comfortable to be who I am and when the theatre professors asked what my #1 school choice was, Furman was the easy decision. This triggered the start of four years of happiness, drive, and a willingness to be my real self. Thank you Clare, Kenzie, Maegan, and the rest of Furman Theatre for making this experience possible.”

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Anne Morgan

Attending East 15 Acting School in England, pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts.

“My favorite Furman Theatre memory was from freshman year when Karsen Green, Ellie Peoples, and I were all understudying in Hair. We got all dressed up for opening night because we weren’t performing but when wanted to dress up. The show was sold out so we watched the performance from the booth together. We talked the whole time, watched it together, and were just so proud of everyone.”