Jenn Kirchner is graduating after four years at SPU with a major in theatre: production, design, and performance, a major in honors liberal arts, and a minor in studio art: digital media. She is passionate about music, literature, animals, travel, and adventures. She originally comes from California but has lived all around the world and plans to continue that trend. When she is not writing musicals in the corner of Fremont Coffee Company, she may be playing board games with friends, exploring a new area of Seattle, or engaging in another heated argument about classic literature.
About my project
Playwriting fits into a niche between theatre and academia because a play—or musical, in this case—is a product that can be analyzed from both scholarly and artistic perspectives. This project both showcases that product and explores the methods of research and means of execution used in its creation. The first part of this project is an original musical libretto adapted from L.M. Montgomery’s 1926 novel, The Blue Castle, a story of a woman whose family has stifled her for her entire life, leaving her to find comfort and adventure in the world she builds inside her head. On the day of her 29th birthday, she gets some shocking news that forces her to wake up to the reality around her and take her life into her own hands. What makes this story poignant as well as charming is its themes of feminism, courage, independence, freedom of choice, nature, and love.
The second part is an accompanying essay which explores the use of historical research, close textual analysis, and autoethnography in the writing of this musical. Presenting these complimentary documents at the same time emphasizes the themes within The Blue Castle by equating the protagonist’s journey to that of the author. This research ultimately provides an entertaining story of empowerment as well as an illustration of the necessity of personal reflection in academic research.
If you are interested in reading the essay that accompanies this musical, it can be accessed on SPU Digital Commons under the title “The Blue Castle: A Musical Adaptation” or you can contact Jenn Kirchner directly.
Read an excerpt from The Blue Castle
"No More" — lyrics
"To Feel Free" — lyrics
Ka Yee Lee
Ka Yee Lee is an international student from Hong Kong and a major in theatre design and Production. As a transfer student, the main reason she came to the United States was to study theatre. During high school in Hong Kong, she helped with the singing competition as a backstage crew member for five years. That began her interest in stage work. Her goal is to be a stage manager for concerts because of her love for music. She is thankful to have studied at SPU and meet many students and professors that love theatre.
About my project
Ka Yee Lee created a video about her daily life with her boyfriend, using stop motion animation. It was challenging. She drew a lot of pictures and put them together to create the illusion that the characters are moving. The reason Ka Yee wanted to do this is that she wanted to have a project that she made by herself, and she wanted to record her favorite memory with her boyfriend. This project also allowed her to practice her developing drawing skills, and she learned how to design the background and block the characters movement. Ka Yee also discovered just how much work the whole process of stop-motion animation is. She has designed some funny scenes, and she hopes the audience feels happy after watching it, which is her favorite function of theatre – bringing a smile to the audience.
Alycia ‘Sirius’ Linton, 22, has been acting on and off since age 11. Linton’s first show was Annie where she played the role of Annie. She has been in several plays and have notably worked on numerous Shakespeare with roles like Lady Anne from Richard III, Helena from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and other historical works. She has also performed in many musicals too, most recently with Urinetown as Tiny Tom. Thanks to Linton’s experience with casting shows herself; she has gained a passion for fair and conscious casting. She looks forward to furthering a career in acting and improving skills as she continues to grow and learn.
About my project
The voice is the actor's instrument. Voice parts have no gender, and any gender can play any voice part. Sex-centered binary language in theatre often excludes many trans, non-binary, and intersex individuals. In Linton’s findings, she discusses the issues with vocal typecasting, its history, as well as what theatre can do to be more gender inclusive. The point of Linton’s project is to show that most songs can be sung by everyone. There may be some songs that are older that are bound by tradition to be sung by specific genders; however, it is not always the case. And there has been some change towards parts being more gender ambiguous or playable for everyone.
As someone who identifies as a genderfluid person, Linton struggled with not over-gendering this project due to the amount of gendered language that the theatre world contains. In audition spaces, roles are classified as being male or female (with some recent inclusion of non-binary, or gender ambiguous characters). Audition sides are often labeled as male and female, or performers are asked to list their sex on the audition page instead of their pronouns. As someone who is mostly cast as a woman, she is most often afforded roles meant for women who can be simmered down to three types: the love interest, the villain, and the mom. In musicals the songs usually resolve around: love, men, or how the characters want to find themselves (and a lot of times this ends in love). With this project Linton showcases two vocal types singing a varying range of songs from well-loved musicals to show that, like a violin playing a piano song - vocal instruments can play a wider range, too.
Read the literature review
Caleb Macduff is an actor, playwright, and director. He is graduating from Seattle Pacific Theatre with a bachelor’s degree in theatre performance and a bachelor’s degree in theatre production. His roles at SPU include Hetchman in The Hatmaker’s Wife, Don Armado in Love’s Labor’s Lost, and several characters in Before the Eclipse. He is also the Lead Carpenter for SPU Theatre’s Scenic Department. He gives his thanks to his mom, dad, and whole family.
About my project
Alone is the story of a young man who must come to terms with the death of his mother after living his whole life in solitude. When faced with monumental change, he must decide between staying where it is safe, or upending everything to go out into the world.
Read an excerpt from the script
Ivy Malone is a fourth-year theatre studies major with a passion for theatre history, dramaturgy, and social justice. During their time at Seattle Pacific University, it was easy to find them at the library or any local coffee shop, but after a year of working in dramaturgy for the theatre department, they hope to just sit down and watch a show they haven’t worked on. They are now hoping to continue their education by pursuing a master’s degree in theatre studies and a doctorate in theatre history. As a non-binary person, Ivy hopes to focus their studies on political theatre and gender and sexuality within theatre history.
About my project
This senior project includes a collection of dramaturgy packets and lobby displays for the 2021-2022 SPU Theatre season. Each of the packets went through multiple drafting and revising periods with help from a mentor. Ivy was finally able to cultivate an original and unique aesthetic for each website and packet. The process has forced Ivy to grow as an individual and an artist within their craft as they take a work, dissect it, and devise a specific packet for its design team and director.
"A Midsummer Night’s Dream"
"The Shakers of Mount Lebanon Will Hold a Peace Conference This Month"
Megan Merydith is a senior majoring in theatre education and theatre production and design. Megan has always had a special place in her heart for educational theatre, and in her time at SPU has pursued her passions for both arts education and stage management, culminating in her senior project work, Stage Management in Educational Theatre. In the fall, Megan will be continuing her work in arts education full time while pursuing her master’s degree in education from Purdue University.
About my project
Megan hopes to never get tired of the excitement that rushes through her body when the lights are dimmed, and the overture begins to play. Of the joy she is filled with when a child’s face lights up for the first time as they discover just how much they love theatre. Of the satisfaction created through a job well done and the creation of an amazing work of art. These are just some of the wonderful things she has experienced working as a stage manager in educational theatre, and it is her desire to pass on this passion and excitement to future generations of students and theatre artists. This book seeks to provide a practical, clear, and easily accessible guide for student and adult artists alike to stage managing in student-focused theatre, be that with children, youth, college students, mixed productions, or anywhere in between. This book will tackle the many traditional tasks of stage management from paperwork to technology to communication, as well as the many unique interpersonal elements added to the job of a stage manager in educational theatre working with students and parents. Through personal experience, education, interviews, and research, Megan hopes this small offering shows her heart for stage management in a way that helps future artists love what they do and feel confident as they approach the ever-changing and ever-magical world of stage management in educational theatre.
Read an excerpt
After earning her associate degree from Bellevue College, Elena Unruh transferred to SPU to earn a bachelor’s degree in costume design and production in theatre. Her inspiration for costume design began during her homeschooling years when a friend introduced her to anime. This interest led to great enjoyment in designing and building costumes for Halloween and later for cosplay at Sakura-con. Elena first learned to sew from her mother and grandmother, and during a theatre summer camp with Seattle Children’s Theatre, she realized that costume design was the career that she wished to pursue. She likes cats, sewing, designing, skiing, and video gaming.
About my project
Elena used iconic landmarks of Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area as inspiration for a nine-piece collection, with looks designed for women, children, and men. The looks range in style from formal to athletic to casual, featuring both symmetrical and asymmetrical designs.
The elegant and timeless Space Needle conjured images of a modern top complemented by a vintage skirt. The flashy multi-colored MoPoP building inspired an equally colorful jacket. From the Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Park, the metal tree that dwells there inspired an elegant evening gown on the red carpet. The Seattle sports scene was the starting point of her athletic look’s color scheme, which was then fused with ancient Roman gladiators. An evening sunset at Alki Beach with a roaring bonfire was the base of her beach wear look. The image of the powerful orca brought forth a punk-Goth design, majestic Mt. Rainier at sunrise gave a vision of a geometric poncho, the layered bark of local cedar trees stirred an image for the texture of the fabric for a young man’s suit, and the ubiquitous Yoshino Cherry trees with their spring pink snow suggested an Easter sundress.
Each of these Seattle and Puget Sound images make a personal connection to the designer. Some designs clearly point to where their inspiration came from, while others are much more abstractly related. The looks are tied together by their theme rather than their appearance, creating an eclectic collection. Also present in these designs are whispers from the past and modern voices.