Every year at SAU, theatre majors audition for scholarships as encouragement to join our department. However, only one student is awarded the coveted Kennedy Scholarship.
Named after Mike Kennedy, retired theatre professor and founder of the SAU Theatre Department, the Kennedy Scholarship is an opportunity for incoming students to be rewarded for their past theatrical accomplishments. In addition, it is an incentive for them to bring their talents to St. Ambrose and further their education in theatrical arts.
This year's Kennedy Scholar is Keegan Harry, who debuted on the SAU mainstage as Victor in Cabaret last year, though he was not officially a student at the time. Harry is thrilled to be a part of this department and to continue his education.
What made you pick the SAU Theatre Department?
"I chose SAU because of the way I felt welcomed by the professors and other theatre students. When I met the department directors, I immediately sensed that all of them truly cared about each and every one of their students, which influenced my decision to go here."
Which role that you've played is your favorite, and why?
"My favorite role has been Aslan in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It has grown to be my favorite because it was my first opportunity to act in a show with just voiceover work, and I had a blast. I also got to work the head of a 7-foot tall, 8-foot long lion puppet, which was challenging yet the most fulfilling."
Why is theatre so important to you?
"Theatre is most important to me because of how it has helped me personally. I come from a history of being incredibly shy, and inevitably, forcing yourself on a stage allows you to try and enjoy new things. Acting and singing on-stage has helped me come out of my shell tremendously."
What's a role you would want to play in the future, and why?
"My dream role is the Phantom in Phantom of The Opera. It's my all-time favorite rock opera, and there's just something about the Phantom that I connect to: the vulnerability, the angst, the longing for something he can't have. Also, his adoration for opera music is something I admire."
What does receiving the Kennedy scholarship mean to you?
"Receiving the Kennedy Scholarship is truly an honor. I am passionate about the way people connect to things and how theatre changes and inspires people. While I love being on-stage, I am also extremely interested in other aspects of the theatre, not just on the stage. Being the recipient gives me the extra oomph I need to be able to find my place in the theatre, wherever that may fall."
The St. Ambrose Theatre Department is excited to have Harry as a talented addition. Come support him this season and watch him grow!
More about Keegan
"My other interests consist of enjoying the outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and also spending time by myself. I try to be proactive when it comes to having a healthy mind, and all of these things are very beneficial to me."