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EMU grad Matt Pearson

Matt Pearson

EMU grad year: 2008

major: theater
minor in bible and music

current job: plans to pursue an MDiv at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif., and exploring the possibility of pursuing an MFA in theater as well.

Without the hands-on experiences I had at EMU I would not have realized my passions for directing and improvisation.quote

Long-term, I hope to directing theater and pastor a church, maybe not at the same time or in that order. But I want to explore how theater and theology interact and how I can mix the two damaging either one of them.

The EMU theater department provided me with a huge variety of opportunities. Among the hats I wore were: actor, designer, improviser, techie, and director. Working across the theater's disciplines allowed me find where my gifts lie. Without the hands-on experiences I had at EMU I would not have realized my passions for directing and improvisation.

I cannot discuss my experience with EMU theater without giving credit to the academic side as well. In particular, my theater history courses, independent studies with faculty, and research for my senior project provided me with valuable tools and insights. These courses enable me to have a broader understanding of what theater can be, and give me inspiration and guidance as I approach a project.

The EMU theater department also supported me as I explored the theater worlds of D.C. and Chicago. In D.C., I interned with Washington Improv Theater; it was a phenomenal experience that will forever shape how I work in the theater. In Chicago I was a part of the Second City's Comedy Studies Program. I spent an entire semester studying improvisation and comedy and received college credit for it! These two programs meant that I spent two semesters away from EMU. While my presence was missed in Harrisonburg I was continually encouraged by the faculty to take full advantage of these amazing opportunities.

I owe a great deal to the EMU theater department and hope that it continues to shape young artists’ lives.

PRODUCTIONS ACTED IN @ EMU: Bury the Dead, The Music Man, Fuddy Meers, and The Mystery of Irma Vep.

PRODUCTIONS DIRECTED @ EMU: Laundry and Bourbon, Medea, Cruel Departure (Senior Project)

I was also a founding member, performer and served as Artistic Director for EMU's improv troupe Arters' Anonymous

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