Mackenzie Breda (she/her) graduates Spring Quarter 2022 with a BA in Theatre Production and Design. During her time at Seattle Pacific, she focused on studying stage management and props. Her recent work included stage managing “Pride & Prejudice” and “String.” She also designed the props for “Big Love” in Spring Quarter 2022. Mackenzie plans to pursue stage management in the Seattle area after graduation. She would like to thank all her mentors in the Theatre Department, along with her family and friends, for their unending support.
About my project
Project Title: “The Reconstruction of the SPU Theatre Props Inventory and Protocol” (Props Management Handbook)
My project aims to create a clear outline of the usage of props within the theatrical production process at SPU Theatre. Along with writing an informational handbook, my main project goal is the development of a system to organize and catalogue SPU Theatre’s 1,800+ item inventory via Airtable, an online relational data-entry software. Along with the creation of streamlined paperwork and rental agreements, I aim to leave the props department in a better place than when I arrived.
I became props master at the beginning of my sophomore year during the midst of major transition within the department. We had no catalog of what items we had in prop storage, and there was no streamlined production process. Because of this, I did a lot of learning on the job. Throughout the two-and-a-half years I remained in the position, I began to write down things that I wished someone had told me when I was hired, in the hopes of someday writing a handbook for the next props master. When COVID hit, the props team had a lot of time on our hands, and thus the creation of the inventory project, a major task that took over a year to complete. Organizing 20+ years of props put into two rooms was no small task. With the help of many dedicated students, the props team was able to document each prop so that future designers would have online access to our inventory, streamlining their process and assisting in communication as well.
Through the creation of the handbook and inventory of the props that we currently have, my project also aims to make props a more desirable and accessible team to be a part of. It is also my goal to transition the role of “props” from a single-person job into more of a team that Production Practicum students would want to join and be excited about.
SPU Theatre Props Handbook Table of Contents (sample)
For more information on Mackenzie’s full handbook, please contact email@example.com.
Gillian McMichael (she/her) is graduating with a BA in Theatre with an emphasis in Education. Gillian has had theatre personally impact her life since she was little. Now an adult, she is looking forward to helping children of all abilities discover the magical impact theatre has on their lives. Gillian hopes to explore helping children with special needs through theatre. She is also passionate about justice for children who have been abused and, since her OCD diagnosis in college, has been a huge advocate for destigmatizing mental health. She is incredibly grateful for her experience, especially her teachers at SPU, and is looking forward to her next adventure. She gives endless thanks and credit to her amazing parents, sister, partner Ryan, and all her amazing animals who have given her unconditional love and support while chasing her passions.
About my project
Project Title: “The Personal Is Powerful” (Theatre Education Plan)
“The Personal Is Powerful” combined my two passions — tackling mental health issues and teaching theatre — to create an accessible way to start conversations with students through digestible lessons. My goal through this senior project is to show both how theatre is a powerful tool in education and how mental health is health. I want students not to shy away from complicated topics that impact their everyday lives, and I and hope to help students face their mental health head-on by destigmatizing students’ views on mental health at a young age. Students from all walks of life will have mental health issues impact their lives in one way or another. The goal is to give students the ability to tackle these ideas in a safe and creative setting.
Many creative ways that students are drawn to explore these topics in their day-to-day life come through arts such as music, movies, and theatre. This project focuses on being able to talk about these ideas in a grounded setting — not talking abstractly about far off, broadly addressed ideas. By sharing my own story of my mental health journey, I hope to show students that working on mental health is everywhere, even in your own teacher. Growing up can be a confusing time, and as a teacher I am called to make sure students are equipped with the skills they need — skills you can learn while playing fun theatre games! That is the magic of theatre: It can be applied to a variety of conversations and topics.
The Personal Is Powerful (Course Plan Excerpt)
Jaret Miller (he/him) is an actor and singer from Seattle, Washington. After earning his AA degree in Drama from Shoreline Community College, Jaret transferred to SPU and is graduating with a BA in Theatre with an emphasis in Performance. His roles with SPU Theatre include Officer Barrel in “Urinetown,” Ernest in “The Shakers of Mount Lebanon Will Hold a Peace Conference This Month,” Lysander in “The Midsummer Project,” and Mr. Wickham in “Pride & Prejudice.” He also enjoys singing in classes and choirs through the Music Department. Jaret thanks his family; SPU Theatre advisor, Candace Vance; and teachers, coaches, and friends for believing in him and encouraging him to explore the life-changing world of theatre. After graduation, he will pursue a career in the performing arts and dedicate his work to the memory of his Gram.
About my project
Project Title: “Senior Showcase” (Performance Showcase)
My project is a Senior Showcase, the culmination of my Theatre Performance education at SPU. It includes past and current pieces, both songs and monologues, that best represent me and my growth over the years. A showcase also gives a performer like me the opportunity to present material to a broader audience, receive feedback, and honor those who have taught and helped me along the way. Initially, this project was proposed as a live performance. However, due to COVID-19 and the timing of my submission in Autumn 2021, I decided to create a video presentation with electronic marketing to be as inclusive as possible in sharing my project.
After making that decision, I realized this format was also beneficial because I would have the monologues and songs recorded and able to customize for future auditions. As I write this, most Seattle theatres are planning to reopen in 2022 and are beginning to hold auditions, but virtually through video uploads and links to file sharing services, not in person. An electronic portfolio compiled and ready is now a must-have for a performer in the current climate.
Additionally, I would like to take the opportunity to use this project and its revised format as a fundraiser for Lambert House in Seattle, and plan to donate $1 for every YouTube view of my senior project for the first week. Lambert House is a safe place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth ages 10–22, empowering them through the development of leadership, social, and life skills. As a 22-year-old now, I know that theatre was (and is) my safe place and where I learned many of these important skills through teamwork and literally stepping into another person’s shoes and experiences through performing. It is important for everyone growing up to have a place like that. Finally, I hope my senior project expresses my passion and gratitude for theatre — the material, the process, and the people — and that it achieves my goal in any performance, to bring some joy to anyone who views it.
Dami Munroe (they/them) is graduating from Seattle Pacific University with a BA in Theatre Performance and a minor in Sociology. They have had the privilege of being on the SPU stage, most recently as Mrs. Bennet/Lady Catherine de Bourgh in “Pride & Prejudice” and Prudenzia/Abra/Rebecca in Blood/Water/Paint.” Their combined passion for theatre, the human experience, and history have granted them the opportunity to work as the theatrical archival assistant, cataloguing and exploring seemingly forgotten materials of the Theatre Department’s past. Dami hopes to utilize the training they have received in multiple areas of theatre in their career and seek to attend graduate school in the near future.
About my project
Project Title: “Permanency & Ephemerality: Exploring the Archive & Repertoire of Seattle Pacific University Theatre’s 2021–22 Season” (Research Paper)
The archive and the repertoire are both intrinsic parts of our daily life, yet many could likely not fully articulate their meaning. The archive holds physical memories of repertoiric situations that are “supposedly resistant to change” (Taylor, 19) — documents, programs, tickets, photographs, letters, CDs, DVDs, and VHSs. The repertoire includes “ephemeral, nonreproducible knowledge” (Taylor, 20) that requires presence and/or participation in what is being transmitted — everything from a performance of a show to embodied means of transmitting knowledge. In this paper, I explore how the archive and the repertoire have been represented in the first two shows of SPU Theatre’s 2021–22 season—"Blood/Water/Paint” and “Pride & Prejudice.”
This project takes significant notes from performance studies theorist Dr. Diana Taylor’s in-depth case study, “The Archive and the Repertoire” (2003). It proposes that performance is not strictly limited to staged theatrical performance, expanding instead to embodied behaviors that are rehearsed and performed on a daily basis, and that these behaviors are critical transmitters of “social knowledge, memory, and a sense of identity” (Taylor, 2). I analyze the differences between “Blood/Water/Paint” and “Pride & Prejudice” as onstage and virtual shows, respectively, and question whether one production holds more intrinsic “value” for being held in the repertoire.
APPENDIX B - SPU Theatre Season Chronology
Chloe Newton is a Performance major from Renton, Washington. Chloe is a 2022 graduate and in her senior year worked as the paint charge for the Theatre Department. As paint charge, she helped to bring each set designer’s vision to life through scenic painting. She also worked as a commuter assistant at the commuter lounge, where she helps coordinate events to build community for students who live off-campus. She graduates with a minor in Business Administration in addition to her major in Theatre, and looks forward to being the production intern at Taproot Theatre in the coming year. Primarily an actor, her senior project is the pilot episode for her television series Veritas. She directed, edited, and sound-designed for the show, and this work is the culmination of what she has learned here at SPU.
About my project
Project Title: Veritas (TV Pilot)
My project is called Veritas. It is the pilot episode of a television show for which I have a whole season planned out. I can say without a doubt that this is the biggest project I have ever attempted. Veritas is the story of a demon who is not quite sure of her place in the natural order of things. In this uncertainty, she decides to go on a mission to earth to investigate further what her purpose is. There she claims the name Verity and meets a human named Lilith, who she ends up staying with, and through this she discovers what humanity means, all the while dealing with demon hunters and fellow demons fighting to keep her head in the sand.
Will she be able to uncover the truth behind her kind and their goals, or will she forever be a cog in the machine? This is the question I seek to answer throughout the season, and with this first episode we barely scrape the surface. This project is the culmination of everything I have learned here at SPU, in that I am directing and doing all the behind-the-scenes work that is involved with a television show, including writing, editing, and designing. I have always wanted to be behind the camera of something like this, and I figured that my senior project would be the perfect opportunity to stretch myself in this new and exciting way. I am very excited for everyone to see it!
Giao Nguyen (he/him) is a Vietnamese-American actor, director, and filmmaker based in the Seattle area. He will be graduating from Seattle Pacific University with a BA in Theatre Performance, as well as a minor in Art: Digital Media. A few notable roles at SPU include Gordon Hirabayashi in “Hold These Truths,” Oberon in “The Midsummer Project,” and Constantine in “Big Love.” Outside of acting, he is a freelance filmmaker and photographer, producing independent work and directing content within the arts space. Above all, he is passionate about creating space for all voices in art, especially young BIPOC actors. He gives his thanks to his family, friends, and mentors who’ve been the guiding light through his journey.
About my project
Project Title: Ocean’s Arrival (Film)
Ocean’s Arrival is a 60-minute narrative feature film written and directed by me. My goal was to create a piece that stands as a testament of my studies at Seattle Pacific University, and my interest as a storyteller entering the world. This project has allowed me the chance not only to direct the acting, but also to engage in my skills of editing, writing, producing, design, and leading a multidisciplinary team. From the ideation process beginning in late spring 2021 to the completion of the project in spring 2022, this film has been a year in the making, involving a team of 20+ young collaborators. This piece will be the first feature film for not only me, but also for all the other members of the Ocean’s Arrival team.
On the winter solstice, four friends reunite at their family's beachside cabin after years apart. From the ocean, a mysterious stranger arrives seeking refuge, eventually pitting the friends against one another. Fantasy, fear, and reality blend together as the days unfold — culminating in a 60-minute psychological drama.
Ocean’s Arrival stars Bri VanderWeide, Olivia Kridle, Austin Dodd, Annabel Klein, Vanessa Miller, Jordan-Davis Miller, and Jordan Mielbrecht. Ocean’s Arrival had a local in-person premiere at the Uptown Cinema on May 5, 2022, as well as an online viewing between May 5 and May 8, 2022. After the screenings, I and the rest of the Ocean’s Arrival team plan to submit this film to specific film festivals in the area and abroad.
For all updates on the film, visit instagram.com/oceansarrival.
Sydney Penticuff (she/her) is graduating after three years at Seattle Pacific University with a major in Theatre Performance and a minor in Music. After entering SPU as an English major, Sydney quickly realized — through her involvement in Concert Choir/Chamber Singers, the musical “Urinetown,” and her unceasing obsession with Stephen Sondheim — that performing was the path for her. She is immensely grateful for the knowledge she has gained and the skills she has honed in the theatre department, and is excited to pursue a career in live theatre in Seattle and beyond! When not performing, Sydney enjoys reading and writing poetry, showing her friends niche musical theatre videos (she recommends the Barbara Cook Kennedy Center Honors performance), and spending time in the sun when it chooses to grace the Seattle sky.
About my project
Project Title: “In Defense of the Ingenue” (Performance Showcase)
My project, taking the form of a comedic and heartwarming cabaret performance, is titled “In Defense of the Ingenue.” The term ingenue arose in French theatre and initially described “a youthful actress who played significant parts” (Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre & Performance). In the English theatre, it translated to “female juvenile lead,” and highlighted “qualities of innocence and simplicity, qualities abundant, for instance, in the heroines of melodrama” (Oxford Encyclopedia). As musical theatre has and continues to progress, these roles are often critiqued for their seemingly weak, one-dimensional nature, their sense of being written through the male gaze, and their focus on love and boys (and only love and boys).
The purpose of this project and performance is to argue in defense of these women. As characters, they are far from perfect, and because of this, deserve to be handled and portrayed with the utmost nuance — a quality not usually afforded them. To demonstrate the journey of this trope, I take the audience on a journey through musical theatre history, with examples spanning from Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” in 1945 to Adam Guettel’s “The Light in the Piazza” in 2003. I introduce and sing excerpts from five American musicals, offering my own critiques and explanations along the way. Furthermore, I’ve rooted this performance in joy by demonstrating my deep love of musical theatre at every turn. My goal is to prove that caring about love and expressing that care through song does not result in weakness or immaturity. The search for love is universal and sacred, and ought to be respected.
Sophie Saxton is currently in her final year at Seattle Pacific University, where she has been majoring in Theatre Education, minoring in Psychology, and growing in her relationship with the Lord. Music and acting have always been powerful ways to express herself and step out of her comfort zone. She hopes to spread her God-given love and passion for theatre to the next generation. Her time at SPU has opened doors to pursue her teaching goals. In the fall, Sophie will be moving to sunny California, where she intends to grow more within her vocation. Although the future may be uncertain, Sophie knows God has big plans for, and she will keep her eyes fixed on Him. Performance-based art has brought her confidence, compassion, friendships, and a lifelong love for teaching.
About my project
Project Title: “Proposed Barney Charter School Theatre Alternative Curriculum” (Theatre Education Plan)
This project is presented as an alternative to the Common Core theatre curriculum for grades 7–12.
I’ve created an outline for a classical curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on theatre. This project closely follows the Barney Charter School Initiative out of Hillsdale University, and therefore the curriculum is grounded in human nature, factual content, moral formation, and thoughtful patriotism. In addition, I’ve sought to provide a theoretical understanding for the need for theatre study in the classical schooling environment with examples of quality instruction in theatre classes. The curriculum has been created both for the use of teachers with no prior background in theatre and for those who are well-versed. The project is broken into four parts: an introduction, a review of relevant literature, a curriculum, and a series of appendices. Additionally, I’ve included a reflection on the development process.
Theatre can be a challenging subject to integrate into classical academies, due to the funding model of charter schools and the assumed elective nature of the subject. However, I’ve created a curriculum that teaches the importance of theatre as a foundational course of study. Historically, theatre was used to supplement English and history study before they became standalone subjects in the late 19th to the early 20th century. (Cope, 2015) In the classical environment, it is still regularly used this way. I argue that theatre, as its own course of study, has a valuable place in the classical curriculum. Regardless of charter standing, all schools should be encouraged to incorporate theatre programs for the benefit of students. Theatre can be used to advance students’ social skills, analytical skills, deep critical thinking, moral values, and historical understanding. In addition to providing relevant literature and history, the author has formed a unit outline, suggestions for assignments, assessments, and detailed descriptions of theatrical games with targeted goals.
B.C.S.I Theatre Curriculum (sample)
For more information on Sophie’s complete curriculum, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Tedmon (he/him) is graduating this year with a BA in Theatre with a Performance emphasis. Born in 2000, his love of theatre started in high school, where he found himself pulled away from the world of robotics and engineering into a world of live artistic storytelling, and loving every second of it. While at SPU, he has seen how theatre is more than just entertainment, but a means of encouraging social change and sharing messages that resonate strongly with him, messages that he believes the world needs to hear. Andrew has also worked on several shows at SPU, acting in “Love and Information,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” “The Shakers of Mt. Lebanon Will Hold a Peace Conference this Month,” and “Pride & Prejudice.” After graduation, he hopes to immerse himself in the world of professional theatre as an actor to further his training and continue to share those stories most important to him.
About my project
Project Title: “What If – From Script to Stage” (Playwriting)
My senior project, “From Script to Stage,” seeks to represent the sum-total what I have learned over the course of my educational journey and explore the journey a play undergoes from first draft to final bow. I started as a Computer Science major, only partially doing theatre, until I realized that my passion was on the stage and not in a line of code. Much of my education has been in various forms of acting, with dabbles in playwriting, design, and directing. As I stepped into the shoes of all these different roles, I would find myself marveling at how all these moving pieces come together, how a wide variety of different visions can all be combined to create masterful works of art. This collaboration is what I sought to explore through my project.
For my project, I took a play that I had written for Playwriting and workshopped it with other artists. I then handed the script off to a student director, who took my vision and made it their own with the help of student actors. I had the unique opportunity to watch the process unfold, seeing how something that I had created was transformed and made infinitely stronger through the artistic vision of others: the magic of collaboration. This project allowed me to watch the magic of words on paper being brought to life, and to see the differences in my vision for the script I wrote versus another director, coming into the scene with fresh eyes and their own amazing ideas. This project allowed me to observe the entirety of the life of this play, from conception to direction to performance, an experience which I hope will further my understanding of the magic that is born from collaborative art.
What If is a new play following the journey of a young high school graduate trying to navigate his first major crossroads in life. Faced with an impossible number of options, he turns to the only reliable method of navigating his uncertainty: time travel. As our graduate tries to find the path to success and financial security, he learns that perhaps there is something more to life than just money.