theater-after graduation

Recent theater graduates have built upon their Lafayette training and become actors, arts administrators, designers, technicians, production managers, television producers, directors, and teachers. Other theater students now have careers in related fields—advertising, events programming, broadcasting, and television. Furthermore, many of Lafayette’s most accomplished theater graduates have found jobs as engineers, actuaries, architects, and investors. Not only did theater help prepare them for their careers, but their theater experience continues to enrich their lives.

Lafayette’s method of closely mentoring students in both performance and production has a proven track record in placing theater graduates into some of the most prestigious M.F.A. and Ph.D. theater programs in North America. These include Boston University, University of California at San Diego, Florida State University, Fordham University, University of Iowa, New York University, University of Toronto, University of Washington, and Yale University.

Kelly Hess '09, equity stage manager

Kelly Hess ’09, equity stage manager

Active in College Theater throughout her years on campus, Kelly Hess ’08 spent her final months stage managing a site-specific Equity Showcase production of Tina Howe’s Museum off-Broadway at the Chelsea Arts Museum—directed by Michael O’Neill, Lafayette’s director of theater—and directing her honors thesis production of The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute on College Hill. Stressing the importance of the liberal arts education Lafayette offered, Kelly says that her double major in psychology and theater have helped her in ways she never could have imagined: “Trust me! My studies in psychology and even sociology have helped a lot backstage!”

“The attention I received at Lafayette in small classes from amazing faculty and guest artists pushed me to try so many different aspects of theater, stretch myself, and strive for what I wanted,” notes Kelly, who was invited to become an Equity stage manager in 2009. Her work in New York with Primary Stages and 59East59 continues. What’s next? “A new work with the New York City Fringe,” says Kelly.

Kimberly Corbett '01, theater consultant for the Dallas architecture firm Schuler Shook

Kimberly Corbett ’01, theater consultant for the Dallas architecture firm Schuler Shook

Graduating Lafayette summa cum laude with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a minor in theater, Kimberly Corbett ’01 wrote an interdisciplinary honors thesis in engineering and theater that got the attention of the graduate program of the Yale School of Drama where, in 2005, she was awarded an M.F.A. in technical design and production.

Experienced as a technician, designer, stage manager, and production manager at various venues throughout the Northeast, Kimberly now works as a theater consultant with the Texas design firm of Schuler Shook, where her recent projects include the MGM Grand at Foxwoods and the Dallas City Performance Hall. As a member of the ESTA Technical Standards Program, Kimberly develops national safety guidelines for the entertainment industry. She continues to work freelance as a scene designer and technician with Texas theater groups.

“The experience I had at Lafayette with a supportive faculty enabled me to pursue my interests and formed the foundation for my present career,” she says.