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Senior Spotlight: Molly Conrad

February 2014

Hometown: Bettendorf, IA

Major: Theatre, Public Relations (Emphasis in Strategic Communication)

Previous SAU Productions? Toy Camp, Spamalot, Eurydice, Alice in Wonderland, Almost, Maine, Midsummer Night's Dream, The Plagiarists, Dakota Jones, A New Brain, Touch, Lady Windermere's Fan, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Drowsy Chaperone

What was your favorite role, and why? Lady of the Lake [in Spamalot] was a whole lot of fun. Plus, working with all the incoming freshman was exciting. The Theatre Department is truly flourishing!

Who inspires you? Dan Rairdin-Hale has inspired me from the start. Being in his classes and shows helped me grow as a performer and a creator. He fosters openness in his rehearsals that allow for exploration, which at first was unfamiliar, but has become a very useful tool. He keeps rehearsals fresh and hilarious, reminding me how enjoyable and innovative the theatre can be.

What is your favorite play/musical and why? Parade by Jason Robert Brown. Each time I listen to it, I discover something new about the plot, a character, or something cool in the word play. Also, it's based on a true story, which makes the music even more haunting.

What drew you to the Theatre and when? In elementary school, I rewrote abridged versions of plays (i.e. Wizard of Oz, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas) and directed them at recess. I was quite strict if my peers were late. (I can empathize now, it was recess.) I also started performing in community theatre shows at a young age with Stephanie Seward ('13). Haven't been able to get rid of the theatre bug since!

What is your favorite memory of the Theatre? Directing Almost, Maine was incredibly rewarding. Working with 19 actors with a wide variety of theatre experience made for a fun challenge. My favorite memory was the first time we did warm-ups on opening night. It was a few of the actors' first shows all together, and the energy in the air was fresh, positive, exciting, and all sorts of wonderful.

Any words of wisdom or advice for future Theatre students? Own it. Do what you love to do, and make the most of every opportunity. Live by clichés, if you want to...

What will you miss the most about the SAU Theatre department? The faculty. Dan, Cory, Kris, and Dianne have all made my Ambrose experience a positive one. The comfort and inspiration to learn and grow has shaped me as an artist. Luckily, those relationships do not stop at graduation.

What are your plans after graduation? I plan to pursue singing/songwriting and potentially make a career in directing. I love performing, so will continue to act and get my fill of the theatre. Otherwise, I might get involved in the communications field.

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