Intellect, Spirit, Imagination and Heart combine to make graduate school a reality

  • Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012

Kat GatwoodKat Gatewood ‘12

Degree: Bachelor of Science, Theatre Arts

Notable: Accepted with full scholarship to the University of Iowa Master of Fine Arts program.

Ms. Gatewood will begin her graduate studies in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Iowa in the fall of 2012. This prestigious program only accepts students every three years.

“It’s surreal - and not surreal - because I’ve always known that I wanted to go to grad school.  Once I switched from an English major to a Theatre Arts major, I still knew that I wanted to go to grad school. Then I realized the opportunities to go to grad school were fewer because there were so many people applying to grad school for theatre and performing arts.  There are fewer spots for people who are in acting than there are in designing or directing.  Now that I have been accepted it feels good to know what I’m doing when I leave Edgewood College, having a plan, being right back into school, not missing a beat.  It’s reassuring and it takes a lot off of my mind.

“It’s good in that sense and I feel that it’s a tool for me to be able to grow a little bit more and grow in ways that I haven’t before here.  Not to say that I haven’t grown here because I have grown a lot, but grad school is a different level of learning, a different level of work. It’s going to be a good place for me.

“I’ll be getting my MFA in acting.  The acting program there is a three year program.  They also have programs for directing, technical elements, like lights and sound.  They also have playwriting classes and majors.  It’s also really famous for having a lot of good writers come out of there.  After grad school I don’t know where I’ll be staying.  It all depends on where they place me or what happens.  They have at the end of your three years, before you graduate; they have this type of facilitation called the Showcase, which showcases the actors or the program in different places such as New York or Chicago.  From those showcases, agents and producers find people they like then hire them after receiving more information about them.  That’s one way the school facilitates trying to get actors into acting and such.  So I’m not sure what I’m going to do after the MFA program because one never knows.  There were slim to none chances I would even be going to grad school because there were so many thousands of people trying to get in.  When I get done with grad school I don’t know if I’ll be like right in the thick of it as soon as I get out, and if I do it’ll be the same thing as now, which is awestruck. 

“I want to do social justice in theatre and be an activist for justice.  I want to be more socially enlightened and equipped with tools to help something, someone, or some organization to do something to create something, start something, or to be a leader of something. 

“Paul Robeson did that.  He was an African-American actor who was a social justice activist.  He did many things during a time when racism was really blatant.  People hated that he was black but they loved that he could sing.  He did a lot of stuff in London and came back to the U.S.  He was doing things that he loved to do even though bad things were happening to him.  He was at a place in his life where he was comfortable, he was recognized, and was helping people at the same time.  That’s how I want to be, how I want to develop in the years to come after grad school. Now, where that is necessarily is not as important as who I am, and who I will be!