Michael Kennedy spent decades building up the St. Ambrose University Theatre Department to what it is today. When he first started, the department was small and practically invisible to the public, but now, thanks to Kennedy, it has grown into one of the best in Iowa. So it was all the harder for the theatre staff and students to say goodbye to Kennedy when he retired in 2009.
"It was a long time coming. I've had a job and a half since I was a kid and took a late retirement at 71," says Kennedy. "I was really lucky to work at a school where I had Cory Johnson and Kris Eitrheim to carry the load with me!"
Kennedy says that despite his "retired" status, he still participates in area theatre.
"I have participated in a couple of productions with Circa 21 Theatre and The Curtainbox Theatre, and I try to attend as many shows as possible."
Last semester Kennedy came back to Ambrose to teach an interim Film class. This fall, Kennedy will be performing in Nana's Naughty Knickers at Circa 21. Previews will be August 17 and 18 with performances running from August 19 through September 24. For information and/or tickets, call 309/786-7733, ext. 2 or visit their website.
A benefit for the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship will be Friday, Sept. 16 at the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse.
Kennedy certainly is a giant in the SAU Theatre Department and a mentor to all the students, alumni and staff. We look forward to seeing him again and hearing his booming voice shout a "hello" from across the room!