Class of 2003

Photo of Bob Beshere

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!”

Photo of Will Lowry

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-.”