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I, Michael Tate, 2009 Summa Cum Laude graduate and Hall of Fame award recipient, Speech, Music Performance major, and Theater minor, am pleased to share my thoughts on the Theater Department under the leadership of Prof. Richard Esvang during my final two years at Kansas Wesleyan.
The most powerful lesson that I learned regarded two dimensions of the concept of Choice, a lesson so powerful and resonant that I am still, three years after graduation, still discovering its transcendent ability to improve my life. I learned about the first dimension, the importance of the act of choosing, from theatrical productions in which I participated. To be a dynamic performer, one must, by the very definition of the word dynamic in its truest sense, make interpretive choices, and must do so for conscious reasons.
The second dimension I am applying here in this email, that being the notion that each choice to act does not have to be "perfect." I once had the assignment to make a 3-stair staircase for the Theater, and I was so concerned with doing it well that I nearly didn't complete the assignment on time. Furthermore, I intended to say many more things about the KWU Theater Department, and wax far more on how glad I am that I got to participate in classes and productions as supervised by the KWU Theater Department. I wanted to give you more examples of moments of mirth, resonance, and gravity, but I have procrastinated too long. Yet, weighing my options, I feel that it's far more important to say SOMETHING rather than nothing. We humans cannot learn, grow, help others, or build relationships if we remain motionless. The KWU Theater department helped me to learn to have the bravery to make waves, or at the very least, ripples.