Home » Posts tagged 'Juniata Theatre'

Tag Archives: Juniata Theatre



Yes, I’m an Actor

I’m going to be completely honest: I have had people laugh in my face when I told them what I study at school. When I tell people I’m studying Theatre Performance, I often hear “Okay…but whats’s your backup?” Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have a backup. I’m an actor and that’s what I want to do. I love performing more than anything in the world and it makes me so happy while doing it, so why not make a career out of it?
I’ve loved performing since the age of three. My first play was The Three Little Pigs, I played Pig #3 and my father played my house. Ever since then, I have loved being on stage. I love creating characters, expressing emotion through text, and getting to be someone I’m not. This semester has given me more than enough opportunities alone to help pursue my career.
Little Shop of Horrors
At the beginning of the semester, I was cast as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. It was one of my dream roles and I was so beyond honored to get to perform that show in front of the entire school. We sold out all six of our performances! How crazy is that! Right after we closed the show, I performed in Unlock Your Voice: Breaking Boundaries, an English-department event celebrating female writers. I chose an intense slam poem about feminism and sexism and it was awesome. After that, I was cast as Callie in Stop, Kiss which opens later this week. This play is incredibly different from Little Shop, and so much more emotionally draining that I expected it to be. I can definitely say this is one of the hardest shows I’ve worked on, and it is such a beautiful piece that I can’t wait to share with the campus community. And recently, I was cast as the lead in a student-written feature film that I will get to work on for a few months next semester. This is not my first student film, but it is my first feature length film and I am so excited to start working on it!
As a young actor, I still haven’t decided if I want to focus more on live theatre or film, because I’m still dabbling in both. At Juniata, however, I have been given the opportunity to try both, extensively, and learn so many skills to help me in my profession. I can never give Juniata enough praise for how incredible the theatre program is here. I never would have imagined to be cast in three separate projects all over the span of a few months.
Little Shop of Horrors
I know I’ve picked a risky career. Trust me, I know. But I chose it for a reason. Performing makes me happy. It gives me energy, it brings my joy, and it brings joy to other people as well in the audience. That is so meaningful for me, and I love what I do. I know I still have three more semesters left at Juniata, but I am so ready to go out into the real world and do what I love.
Photos by: Morgan Horell ’17


As my time in the Theatre Department was increased drastically throughout this year, I have become very close with many other members in the Theatre POE as well as the professors/directors. Although I was not directly a part this semester, I had the pleasure of watching several of my friends and one of my favorite professors on campus work together to create another absolutely incredible production of “Middletown”.

Julia Mathis, starring as the Librarian in "Middletown"
Julia Mathis, starring as the Librarian in “Middletown”

Directed by Professor Kate Clarke, the show is a dramatic comedy set in the town of Middletown, which is somewhere in the middle (humourous, right?) and describes the intersecting lives of the many quirky residents. Several actors play multiple characters, while some remain one character throughout the whole show. It was so much fun to see my friends transform into silly tourists, doctors, astronauts, librarians, and even a pregnant woman! As you can see, there’s a lot going on in this show!

Patrick Rutledge (left) and Kiah Mahy (right) in "Middletown"
Patrick Rutledge (left) and Kiah Mahy (right) in “Middletown”

One thing I love about the Theatre Department at Juniata is how small it is. It really allows the students to work closely with the professors inside and outside of class, and especially in the productions, which are directed by one of the professors each semester. I’ve already learned so many new techniques and skills just from the past two semesters in the Theatre Department, and it’s so fascinating to see those skills played out on stage by the performers. They also make it so easy to get involved in the show, even if you are not an actor that’s in cast. There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes, with costume and set design, lighting, sound, and more. There are students involved from all different POE’s, from Biology to Communications to Politics. Working in the Theatre Department has also been a great way for me to meet new types of people and make many new friends.

Statue from the set of "Middletown"
Statue from the set of “Middletown”

The cast in “Middletown” is all very talented, and I would definitely recommend the showeven if you’re not into Theatre! The script is hilarious, the actors are stunning and the set is so beautiful! Middletown is overall an amazing production that is so incredibly executed by the Juniata Theatre Department. There are three more shows left (Thursday, Friday and Saturday night) and tickets are “pay what you can” (very convenient to the typical college student!). Attending Juniata Theatre productions is a must during your time on campus.

Josh Wants to Take Over the World?

In Kent Island, Virginia.
In Kent Island, Virginia.

There are so many days I wake up and feel like that mouse, the Brain, from the cartoon Pinky and the Brain. I am starting to realize that many of the readers of this blog probably have no idea who the Brain is. That’s a shame.  You really should google it.  I do have big ambitions, like the Brain, whose infamous tag line in response to his fallible comrade’s inquiry of how they will spend that night was: “The same thing we do every night —try to take over the world!”  I should clarify that I would like to change the world, not maliciously take over it.  That would be an inappropriate message for this blog. However, what I love and how I use those passions helps me see how I can change the world.

Connecting with others is something I constantly strive to do.  That’s why I became an admission counselor I suppose and why I am still so excited about what I do everyday.  Art, particularly performance art, is my favorite form of communication.  I’ll never forget my first performances in my parent’s living room for the home video camera.  My mom was working late on Christmas Eve and my siblings, dad and I decided to create a Christmas Carol video for her.  After screaming every holiday song I had ever learned, I knew I was hooked.  I have gone on to train as a dancer and actor and perform in some of my favorite shows.  I was even fortunate enough to study in the best college theatre program in the world…Juniata Theatre!  I would love to continue work in the arts as a vehicle for change.

Performing on trapeze in Juniata Theatre's airstonewater 2006
Performing on trapeze in Juniata Theatre’s airstonewater 2006

I love cultural differences.  Learning about others and where they come from is very exciting for me.  I find people fascinating and continually realize how lucky I am to meet so many different types of people. As the Associate Director of Western Admission, I have the privilege of working with students in the Western United States through the admission process.  About a year ago I actually moved to Portland, Oregon and currently reside there.  It has certainly been an exciting year of travel and cultural understanding.

With friends exploring the beaches of Lincoln City, OR.
With friends exploring the beaches of Lincoln City, OR.

As far back as I can remember, I have been a ridiculously excited student.  I was the first on the school bus and the last to recess.  That kid that couldn’t simply raise their hand but had to physically remove themselves from their seat and waive their hand until it was noticed that they had the answer…that was me. Even in dance class at five years old, I was dead center in the front with my shiny tap shoes following closely along.  Curiosity is a part of me and I credit it for most of the life epiphanies that I have had.  I love learning how something functions or how an event happened.  I’m just full of questions!

So at the end of each day, I guess I can sit back and relax.  As I try to change the world, I can see tiny fissures; minute cracks in the shape of the world around me.  (Mr. Rogers moment) I am changing the world, just by being me.  I could say the same for all of the students that I work with.  When I meet a student who has identified their passions and is excited to learn, I can’t help but believe in them and their ability to make real change.  It’s contagious.

Joining my niece Makaehla for her first time ice skating along with my mom.
Joining my niece Makaehla for her first time ice skating along with my mom.