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in the arts
Actor and playwright Kim Stauffer
(C 99) is currently in a one-year Acting
Fellowship with Washington D.C."s
Shakespeare Theater. Crossroads caught
up with her recently.
You graduated from EMU with social
work and theater degrees. Does that
strike you as an unusual combination?
No. Both revolve around stories and the
human experience. Both encourage
empathy and ask us to open ourselves to
new ways of being. With each, I am
painfully and wonderfully aware of my
own humanityhow far I have come and
how far I have yet to go.
How did you decide to focus on theater?
When I graduated I wasn't sure. I decided
to explore each one for a year, and then
evaluate where I was. At the end of the
year I knew: I feel most alive when I am
creating. So, I began auditioning for
MFA actor training programs and
enrolled at the University of North
Carolina at Greensboro.
You're one of eight people
(including just two women)
awarded this year's Shakespeare
Theater Acting Fellowship.
How were you selected?
While studying at UNCG, I
competed in the American
College Theater Festival. I
was selected as a national
finalist. This gave me
an opportunity to
spend a week at the
actors, and master
teachers. It was
there that the
artistic director of
What were your Shakespeare-related
experiences at EMU?
During my first year at EMU, Barbra
Graber cast me as Miranda in The
Tempest. I developed a real love for
Shakespeare's language and clues the text
gives actors. Later, during J.B. Landis'
Shakespeare class, we visited D.C. and
saw The Merry Wives of Windsor at the
Shakespeare Theater. I now work
alongside one of the actors who
performed in that show!
You grew up in a Mennonite home in
Lancaster, Pa. Does it seem like thats a
world away now?
Sometimes. I move in a very different
world now. It is transitory. Nomadic. But
at times I am surprised by how similar
these worlds arein the theater world
everyone knows everyone else, and they
like "fellowship" just as much as a group
of Mennonites at a potluck. Sometimes I
feel I am making my own way.
aren't a whole lot of people with a
Mennonite background I can ask, "What
did you do when
" or "How did you
" A world away? Often, yes.
But the way I move within it is still
very much connected to the
community of faith that grounds
me. It is who I am and the way I
work. A root system that extends
way beyond me. That is a quiet
revolution in a world like
(C 93) Minatelli