SAU Alumni Jovon Eberhart '09 and Andrew Harvey '07 are close to finishing their graduate school experiences. We decided to check in with them to see how they have furthered their SAU Theatre education!
Eberhart graduated with bachelor degrees in Theatre and Marketing and has pursued further education at the University of Florida. Eberhart will graduate in May with a Master of Fine Arts in Scenic Design, after having completed her thesis project–a fully realized design for "Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville."
Eberhart's SAU Theatre education has served her well at graduate school for many reasons. The small but mighty department at SAU offered many opportunities to participate as well as get out to Quad Cities community theatres. Eberhart says it was a "hands-on environment," where the positive mentality of the faculty and staff helped her achieve her goals and fostered creativity.
During her studies at Florida, Eberhart taught scenic design courses for undergraduate students. "I channeled my inner Kris Eitrheim every class," she says. As far as her future is concerned, Eberhart hopes to get a job that involves "painting something."
Eberhart wishes to encourage creativity in her classroom as well, saying: "'No' is an easy solution. But ‘what if' can lead to some interesting places."
Andrew Harvey, now going by the stage name "Edward O'Ryan," graduated from SAU in 2007 with bachelors in History and Theatre, as well as a minor in Irish Studies. He is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts in Acting at Michigan State University, graduating in May.
O'Ryan (or is it Harvey?) says his SAU Theatre education gave him a strong foundation to work from in graduate school.
"Ultimately though," says O'Ryan/Harvey, "I've come to realize that being self-motivated in undergrad has made grad school much more manageable. I have Cory, Kris, and Mike to thank for the inspiration that has kept me going."
Following his graduation, O'Ryan/Harvey plans to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film/TV. When asked about this confusing change of name, O'Ryan/Harvey clarified that his name is not legally changed, but he has decided to work under the name Edward O'Ryan when he applied for his Actor's Equity (the actors' union) Membership Candidacy last January.
"I didn't want to share my name with the other Andrew Harvey actors," he says.
O'Ryan/Harvey is glad he took time to recharge between undergraduate and graduate schooling, but urges students not to worry if their plans do not include going to graduate school.
"Grad school is also not the be-all, end-all," he says, "so don't fret if you don't think it's a good fit for you. Get out there and pursue your passion!"
The SAU Theatre Department wishes you both the best of luck and success in your endeavors–and wants you to keep in touch!