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Senior Spotlight: Jonathan Smith

April 2013

Hometown: Peoria, Illinois

Major: Graphic Design/ Marketing Minor

Previous SAU Productions? The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, A Year with Frog and Toad, Oedipus Rex, A Green River (Staged Reading), The Drowsy Chaperone, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Lady Windermere's Fan, Touch, Dakota Jones and the Search for Atlantis, The Actor's Nightmare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Almost Maine, Alice in Wonderland: A New Adventure, Eurydice, and Chicago

What was your favorite role, and why? I loved playing Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream. I feel it was my most comical and in depth character I've had the pleasure to portray. Everything about the character was meant to be funny and that is where I thrived. I enjoyed watching clips of The Three Stooges as references for facial expressions and mannerisms. That was one of the few times I've felt like I truly became a different character while on stage. However, in the end, maybe I was just acting as myself...dunno.

Who inspires you? I think the two main things that inspire me would be anyone who is a real deal hard worker, and is visibly passionate about what they are doing, and a person, or group, that shows an understanding of community and is inclusive to all types of people. Otherwise, most anything inspires me, really.

What is your favorite play/musical and why? I would pick either The Producers or The Drowsy Chaperone. I don't know many shows outside of ones that I've done so I'm pretty limited.

What drew you to the Theatre and when? It was my sophomore year of high school when I realized that football just wasn't cuttin' it for me and I thought being on stage and performing would be a better fit. I've been hooked ever since, and have actually been trying to quit since freshman year of college. It's addicting.

What is your favorite memory of the Theatre? I hate to sound so typical, but there really are too many to choose from. Ambrose theatre has enveloped the last four years of my life, which makes picking a specific memory a little difficult. A cute memory would be from when Grant Legan and I were the squirrels in A Year with Frog and Toad. After the show, as we were standing around the Christmas tree in the lobby of Galvin watching all the kids go talk to all the other, more prominent characters, a lone, shy little girl walked up to just us and told us that we were her favorite animals. It was freakin' adorable!

Any words of wisdom or advice for future Theatre patrons? Remember that there are so many aspects of the theatre to get involved in. If one avenue doesn't work out, then you pick up a new trick and keep working at it. Learn as much as you can while you're here, which can sometimes mean going out and pursuing the answers yourself. Don't ever lose sight of what you came here to do.

What will you miss the most about the SAU Theatre department? The department itself. Looking back, I can't imagine anywhere else on campus where I felt more at home or in my element than when I would come in to work on something pertaining to the theatre. The faculty members are wonderful and along with looking up to and respecting them, I have also always been very comfortable and willing to talk with them.

What are your plans after graduation? I would like to find graphic design job in the Quad Cities. If not, then I'll be moving back home to live with my folks. In the meantime, I'd like to at least try and audition for a few shows here and there, and hope all these years of putting my major on the back burner can pay off a little bit!

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