Graduates’ talents showcased in final show

Brian Horn and Brian Horn

Some of The University’s finest performers will be putting on a senior showcase today in the Joe E. Brown Theatre.

The showcase will display the talents of eight graduating seniors for a farewell performance.

The evening cabaret-style entertainment will feature a series of monologues and scenes ranging from comedic to dramatic, and will show the many styles of theatre the students have participated in during their tenure at the University.

According to participating senior Courtney Altenburg, the idea was thought of by fellow thespian and participant Lisa Marie Fulton and the seniors were excited by the concept.

“Lisa has been the spark that lead to the fire that we are now creating. Lisa got us all interested and we all agreed that it would be a great way to show people how we have grown as actors and as people,” Altenburg said.

Fulton says the idea started back during senior seminar when all theater majors put on mock professional auditions, which the public could come see, but because of busy schedules, attendance was sparce. Fulton decided it would be a good idea if the seniors could show off what they’ve learned in one big show, and she hopes it will catch on for future generations. “I’m hoping this is an event that will grow and become a tradition,” Fulton said

Appearing in the showcase will be graduating seniors Melissa Bennett, Lynn Lammers, Courtney Altenburg, Jason Hamen, Adam Smith, Lisa Fulton, J. Michael Bestul, Paul Lewis.

J. Michael Bestul

J. Michael is a theatre major with a support field in writing. After college he plans on acting, moving to Pittsburgh, writing, working, maybe going to grad school or ending up in New York. His favorite production at BG was either Sweeney Todd or The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). His favorite memory of the University is the performance of “The Skin of Our Teeth.” It was a challenge to play Henry, he said. “It’s always great when you can cause a reaction in an audience. You can’t always see or hear it, but you can feel it.” He got into theatre because of his high school drama experience. “They needed writers, and I wrote. Due to my experience in speech, and the lack of male actors, I played a few parts. “

Melissa Bennett

Melissa is a theatre and acting major. Over the summer she plans on being a performer at the Great Lakes Medieval Faire. Her best memory of BG will be, “the day I pack up my apartment and leave for good.” Melissa has been into theatre since the second grade. “My mom was into theatre and I got put in a show. After that, its like a drug, and quitting is really hard,” she said.

Lynette Lames

Lynette is a theatre major with an emphasis in Women’s Studies. She plans on exploring the world and having fun after college. Playing Margery in “Vinegar Tom” is her best memory here at BG. “I will take any future opportunity I can get to work with Chris Woodworth again,” she said. ” I love performance, I love studying human nature, and I love art. Theatre involves all of these.”

Lisa Marie Fulton

Lisa Marie has a BAC in theatre. Her post-college plans are to pursue a career in Children’s Theatre and attend graduate school for Theatre for the Youth and Puppetry. Her favorite BG memory was “Hold Me!” ” It was the newcomers’ show here my freshman year and it was in that show that I met my core group of friends and it was the first time I realized that this was something I could easily do this for the rest of my life,” she said.

Lisa has always had an interest in the theatre arts. ” I remember when I realized that Children’s Theatre was my calling. I have my experience in Treehouse Troupe 2000 and F. Scott Regan to thank for that.”

Jason Hamen

Jason has a major in Integrated Language Arts (education). He currently is looking for a teaching position for next school year. His favorite production at BG was “Hold Me” in October, 1999. “Since it was my first show at BG, everything about it was new and exciting, including many wonderful people,” he said. His first debut in theatre was as California Raisin Letter “P” in a first grade show. “I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Courtney Altenburg

Courtney is a theatre major. After college she plans on working for a year so that she can earn money to attend grad school to further her studies in acting. Her favorite production at BG was “The Last Night of Ballyhoo.” “My character was extremely challenging and I love those kind of parts. Also, the cast was terrific to work with,” she said.

Her high school drama teacher cast her in the first role she ever auditioned for in high school. “I was hooked. I have always been interested in theatre and I have been singing since I could talk. I was very involved in the theatre during high school and still remain just as involved at college whether on-stage or off.”

Adam Smith

A theatre major Adam plans on going to work to make enough money to make the move to NYC after college. Two productions that were his favorite at BG were “Crave” and “Our Country’s Good.” “Crave was the biggest challenge for acting I’ve ever had – the entire play was very poetic and lyrical. It throws out all standard play format and is a poem for four voice,” he said. High school was the first time he got involved in theatre. “I played in the orchestra. After that I thought it’d be fun to act.”

Paul Lewis

As a theatre major, Paul plans on pursuing acting professionally in some medium and making a living out of it. The production at BG he likes most is “Picasso at the Lapine Agile,” because the cast was fabulous and worked well together. ” I have always been intrigued by the idea of living someone else’s life — if even for a moment,” he said.