SUU Students Take Part in Bard’s Intern Program

Published: July 28, 2015 | Author: Tommy Gugino | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU student, Aimee Pearson, interns at USF for costuming. It’s been said that your profession isn’t your weekly paycheck but what you’re put on the earth to do. It is that passion that fills the summer schedules for 10 SUU students who spend early mornings reciting lines, hot afternoons sewing skirts and late evenings performing plays all for the Utah Shakespeare Festival Fellowship Program.

 Each student is given an opportunity to put their passion for the stage into practice all while earning professional theatre credit on their transcripts and résumés.

The students in the program are working in Utah Shakespeare Festival’s by building backdrops and costumes, and acting in The Greenshow or understudied main stage productions, each receiving school credit while working alongside professional actors and technicians who are mentoring them throughout the summer.

Participating in the program for the 2015 season is Jordyn Cardwell, Luke Johnson, Halie Merrill, Robby Wilson, Alexander Greig, Kristine Norby, Aimee Pearson, Phoebe Bock, Shalise Jenkins and Austin Andrews.

Johnson, a musical theatre major from West Valley City, Utah, said the program has allowed him to collaborate with new artists and learn from them.

“This experience has helped immensely as an actor. The first day of rehearsal everyone had already put in months of work into the productions, which has allowed me to see them transform into their characters,” Johnson stated.

Merrill, a classical acting major from Salt Lake City, said through the program she has learned to be “fearless” and to take more risks on the stage. “As a young actor, that's something I'm still working on, but I got the chance to see actors take big risks and follow impulses in USF rehearsals, and to do it 100 percent.”

She went on to say, “I’m learning from people like Tasso Feldman, who plays Mozart in Amadeus, and in particular has been thrilling to observe during this process. When he gets an idea, he goes through with it, fully committed. I've learned so much from that.”

Many of these students participating in the fellowship program are behind the scenes, and dedicate their time to ensuring each play looks flawless. One such student is Aimee Pearson, a technical theatre major from Lake Forest, Calif.

Pearson said from her time at the Festival she has learned new ways of working with costumes and is constantly taking notes. “In costuming, there are a million different ways to do one single step, so the trick is to find the way that works best for you,” she said. “Through working on Amadeus, I have learned cleaner and faster ways to construct garments and do alterations.”

Tickets are on sale for the Festival’s 54th season, which will run until October 31, 2015. The eight-play season includes Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, King Lear, Henry IV Part Two and The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The season will also include South Pacific, Charley’s Aunt, Amadeus and Dracula. For more information and tickets visit or call 1-800-PLAYTIX.

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