Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

The road to fame:

Theater alum begins her journey in Augusta, Mich.
Bethany Edlund on advantages of theater degree program at Huntington University, a Christian college.

“Not only do you get a well-rounded education by taking on assignments both onstage and backstage, but also becoming a family with everyone else involved with the department.”

After a long day of auditioning for numerous theater companies, Bethany Edlund felt exhausted, but excited about the amount of callbacks she received.

The Barn Theatre, an equity house in Augusta, Mich., approached Bethany and asked her if she would like to work for the company for a four-month stretch.

“It feels good to know you got a job,” Bethany said. “(The Barn Theatre) is selective, so it was pretty cool to get a job there and make connections.”

Once her contract with The Barn Theatre ends, Bethany hopes to move to New York City to pursue other acting jobs.

Her love for the stage began back during her days in high school. She realized there was nowhere else she would rather be than in rehearsals and looked forward to rehearsals every day.

“I’m not trying to be famous,” Bethany said. “I simply want to touch people’s lives. You meet so many people in different walks of life in theater. I also hope to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree and teach one day.”

Enrolling in the Huntington University theater department helped solidify Bethany’s love for the stage during her four years of college. She performed in a total of 16 shows while also juggling her studies and investing in her friendships.

“Because our theater department at Huntington is smaller, as a major, you get more stage time,” Bethany explained. “Not only do you get a well-rounded education by taking on assignments both onstage and backstage, but also becoming a family with everyone else involved with the department.”

As part of her senior project, she played the role of “Miss Adelaide” in the production of “Guys and Dolls” in spring 2011. Bethany mentioned how much fun it was to go onstage every night to play such an engaging character. She also felt that the role helped her to hone the comedic side of her acting craft. By developing characters, Bethany felt stretched in her faith through portraying honest emotions.

“Jay (Duffer) and (David) Shamburger always pushed honesty and truthfulness,” Bethany said of the professors in the theater department. “Jay doesn’t settle. Those raw emotions I bring to my character could potentially touch the lives of the audience. The professors take the time to get to know you and do what they can to help you succeed.”

For those interested in studying theater, Bethany offered some words of wisdom:

“You need something else to do that helps you to be you and not someone else all the time. For me, I enjoyed being around my friends or going on walks. Also, take the time to make your faith your own.”

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