Luke Peterson may be new to the St. Ambrose theatre department, but he's no stranger to the stage. After becoming involved with theatre at a young age, he participated in every one of his high school productions, including Beauty and the Beast, To Kill a Mockingbird, Grease, and The Little Mermaid, to name a few.
When he's not in class or rehearsal, Luke can be found singing in the choir, planning events with the Campus Activities Board, or working in the scene shop. Clearly, he has been keeping busy his first semester on campus, and it sounds like he does not plan on slowing down anytime soon!
Hometown: Newhall, Iowa
How did you first get involved in theatre?
I started theatre in the first grade playing a sheep in my elementary school production of a musical called We Like Sheep. After that, I didn't do anything until 8th grade, in which I was the lead in our middle school production of a play called The Alphabet Train. It was then I noticed how much theatre helps improve my confidence, my communication skills, and how to overall become a better and more positive role model, not just for the audience, but for my peers in everyday life.
What is your favorite show you've been a part of?
My favorite show would have to be Leaving Iowa by Tim Spike, which we did my senior year of high school. I liked it because the script was sentimental; I played opposite one of my best friends and it challenged me because I had so many monologues to memorize.
Why did you pick St. Ambrose?
I picked St. Ambrose University because I like the fact that in addition to doing theatre, I could double major and still be involved in other extra-curricular activities such as choir, Model UN, and the Campus Activities Board. Also, after looking at the program and the awards won by the faculty, I though St. Ambrose would push me to become an overall better educated actor.
How is your first semester going?
It has been busy. I've enjoyed getting to meet everyone, and I'm glad the transition period is over, (laughs) for the most part.
What are you looking forward to most at St. Ambrose?
I'm looking forward to learning about all the aspects of theatre I never had the opportunity to learn about in high school. Coming in, I had only acted before, so I'm excited to learn about the ins and outs of the other elements that go into making a show.
What are some goals you have for yourself while studying St. Ambrose?
I want to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I am excited to take on roles I would never pick for myself and that will really challenge me. Also, I want to leave school with a well-rounded knowledge of theatre.
What is your dream role?
My dream role is Buddy the elf from the musical Elf. I think he is such a positive person, he beams with energy and is a perfect role model for the audience. He shows that sticking out and being yourself is a good thing.
What is the best theatrical advice you've received?
Right before opening night of my first-ever high school show, the musical director gathered everyone in a circle and told us that she wanted us to go out on stage and "SPARKLE." However, her advice meant more to me than just going out on stage and shining. I took her advice and reexamined how I present myself to others and used her as a role model on how to "sparkle" in my everyday life. To this day, I try to keep a positive attitude and act in a manner that encourages all those around me to "sparkle," whether it be on or off stage. So because my director passed her "sparkle" on to me, she inspired me to pass my "sparkle" on to others, and for that I'll always be forever grateful!
You can see Luke "sparkle" in the children's show, Cinderella, on December 1st and 2nd, or in a student directed one act play, on Sunday December 10th in the Studio Theatre.
From Newhall, Iowa, Luke is a Theatre and Sociology major who first got into theatre in grade school.
Try everything. You never know what you'll find your passion for if you never experience it.
Senior Zach Lawson