Class of 2010

Photo of Aly Howard

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.”

Photo of April Andrew

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.”

Photo of Ruxandra Cantir

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!”

Photo of Mary Beth Smith

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.”