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Sneak Peek

What might life after Kalamazoo College look like?

Keith Garber '16 (left) did a summer 2014 discovery externship at Texas Heart Institute in Houston thanks to Michele Zacks '89 (center) and Carl Alexander (right).

Throughout the summer months, first-year and sophomore students answer that question by living and working with Kalamazoo College alumni and friends. The students seize the opportunity offered through the Discovery Externship Program, a component of the Center for Career and Professional Development.  From arts to animals, accounting to agriculture, some 50 Summer 2014 externs have learned first-hand about the professional opportunities open to K graduates.

Kendal Kurzeja ’16 (hosted by Jenn Feuerstein ’93 at Save the Chimps, Inc.) “The experience challenged my preconceived notions of what it meant to be a human being who coexists with other animals, and I think that is the most valuable lesson for anyone to learn.”

Grady Schneider ’16 (hosted by David Leonard ’71 and Jeff Hollenbeck ’11 at Ryzome Investment Advisors)

“Now I know that being an investment advisor is more than knowing price and earnings ratios, returns on equity, and the other numbers that allow you to extrapolate. Although these will always be important, and the skill that is the most important at Ryzome is being able to connect with people. For me this is the skill that makes the job truly meaningful.”

Emily Kowey ’17 (hosted by Karman Kent ’07 at the Morehead-Cain Foundation)
“I learned a great deal about the running of non-profits and the wide variety of jobs that are available in this field. This experience showed me what it was like to work for a foundation that was very collaborative, exactly the type of work environment I would love in the future. I am still inspired by all the work that the Foundation and its scholars are doing.”

Austin Sroczynski ’17 (hosted by Adam Gravley ’84 at Van Ness Feldman, LLP)
“My expectations were very high. It turned out to be a great experience. I thought that lawyers were in court more than what they really are. From the lawyers I talked to, I learned that their goal is to stay out of the courtroom.”

Dana Page '16 “externed” with Amy Darrow '99 at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University, and she has the hospital ID to prove it!

Jessica Hansen ’17 (hosted by Bethany Whitehead ’98 at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts)
“Before the externship, I was afraid that if I got into the art museum and gallery business I wouldn’t be able to make a difference in the world. I wouldn’t be able to create any change. Not so. It was really helpful for me to talk to my host. Her perspective on K helped me appreciate the school even more. She also helped me figure out what I want to do after college. It made me feel much more relaxed about my future.”

Greta Herrin ’17 (hosted by Stephanie Willette ’08 at Capella Farm)
“My host went out of her way to make sure that I was experiencing every part of an agriculture and food systems career, including the ways in which it can vary through meeting people and businesses.”

“Before the externship I was afraid…I wouldn’t be able to make a difference in the world.”

Grace Smith ’17 (hosted by Geralyn Doskoch ’84 at Charlevoix Area Hospital)
“For someone looking to be a doctor, this is a cool experience because you are in a hospital setting and you get to observe everything going on there. At the same time, it is a small hospital, so my sponsor had time to talk me through everything she did and teach me a lot.”

Kaylah Simmons ’17 (hosted by Addell Anderson ’78 at University of Michigan-Detroit Center)
“I learned that the theatre arts field has so many different positions, many more than acting, directing, and stage-managing opportunities.”

Hannah Kim ’17 (hosted by Sanford Schulman ’85 at Schulman Law Center)
“Watching my sponsor has encouraged me to try to think out of the box. I’ll strive to be more active in classes, take initiative to speak to professors, and try to think more critically about things, all because of this externship. I’ll also strive to become a more concise, articulate speaker.”

Long Road and Theatre Mirror

Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College celebrates its Golden Anniversary this academic year and, in tribute, BeLight will publish short profiles of some FP alumni—two each in this year’s three issues of the e-magazine. May features Lisa Kron ’83 and Joe Hamlin ’02.

The Long Road

That beautiful thrust stage at K is still one of my favorite stages.

When Lisa Kron was nominated in 2008 for a Tony for her play, Well, the applause could be heard on the Kalamazoo College campus. Kron’s plays have walked the boards on and off Broadway, and Kalamazoo College was the first college to stage Well, a play about Kron’s experiences attending a predominantly African-American elementary school as a girl with a Jewish heritage. During that staging, Kron spoke to K students as well as to students from Western Michigan University about her career as an actress and playwright, illustrating once again how theatre at K incorporates every discipline into a liberal arts education, going Well beyond simply staging a play. Kron credits her experience at K, both on and off campus, to her success in theatre. The playwright/actor lives in New York City and is a member of the Class of 1983, though she notes she’s “still missing a science requirement, so no degree. But I did finish my SIP!”

Lisa Kron '83 - Photo by Joan Marcus.

K-PLAN
Major:  Theater
Study Abroad
:  London.  “Loved it!!!”
SIP:
  Lecture/Performance on the dearth of roles for women in theater called “There’s Nothing Like a Dame.”
Key K Experience
:  “GLCA Philadelphia Urban Semester – LOVED!”

First Job in Theatre/TV
ANTA Company National Tour – Auditioned while representing K at the regional ACTF.

Big break
“Hmm.  I don’t think there generally are big breaks. For me, as for many if not most people, it’s a long road, through many different landscapes.”

Screen Credits
“My work on the screen resembles my work at K–limited to bit parts. Some Law and Order.  A couple of films, most notably, my turn as a waitress in the final scene in the first Sex In the City movie.”

Awards
Playwriting fellowships from the Lortel and Guggenheim Foundations, Sundance Theater Lab, the Lark Play Development Center, and the MacDowell Colony.

The Cal Arts/Alpert Award, a Helen Merrill Award, grants from the Creative Capital Foundation and New York Foundation for the Arts.

A three-year playwriting residency through the American Voices New Play Initiative at Arena Stage.

Obie, Bessie, GLAAD, L.A. Drama-logue, and Lilly Awards.

Nominations for Tony, Drama Desk, Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, and Susan Smith Blackburn Awards.

Recent Projects
Fun Home, a musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel, with lyrics by Lisa Kron, music by Jeanine Tesori, directed by Sam Gold. Fun Home premiered at the Public Theater October 2013.

Also appeared in the return of Foundry Theater’s acclaimed production of Good Person of Szechuan, directed by Lear de Bessonet, starring Taylor Mac, at the Public Theater, October 2013.

On Kalamazoo College
“Lowry Marshall changed my life.  I still draw on my theater studies in London. And that beautiful thrust stage at K is still one of my favorite stages.”

Theatre Mirror
Joe Hamlin ’02 is the man behind the production, making what theatre goers see on stage possible. He has worked on hundreds of plays, including Broadway-bound productions, and it’s a passion that was fostered on the stages at K. Hamlin is technical director at the Center Theatre Group in California, overseeing The Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, and the Kirk Douglas Theatre. He is also production manager for The Ahmanson Theatre. He studied theatre with Ed Menta and Lanny Potts, and earned a master’s in technical design and production from Yale School of Drama.

Hamlin is passing it forward: Lee O’Reilly, a K grad and current student at the Yale School of Drama, worked with Hamlin last summer during a 12-week assistantship in technical directing.

Joe Hamlin '02 - Photo by Bones Malone.

K-Plan
Major: Theatre with a concentration in the classics.
Study Abroad:
Athens, Greece
SIP:
“After Genocide: A Three Week Journey Through Croatia”
Kalamazoo College Theater Experience:
Dr. Faustus; Marat Sade; Twilight

First Job in Theatre
Assistant technical director, Northern Stage in White River Junction, Vermont

Big Break
“I did summer stock work in my first theatre job in Massachusetts, and then the previous technical director was fired. The job became mine—it was a crazy time, the hardest time of my life, but it was also wonderful.”

Production Credits
Joe has worked on hundreds of shows. He’s particularly proud of: Clybourne Park at the Mark Taper Forum; End of the Rainbow at the Ahmanson Theatre; and The Second City’s A Christmas Carol Twist Your Dickens! at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

Awards
U.S. Institute of Theatre Technology’s “The Golden Hammer Award” (usitt.org)

Recent Projects
Recent shows on which Hamlin worked as the production manager: The Sunshine Boys, a revival of the Neil Simon play, starring Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch; and Harmony, a musical revival by Barry Manilow.

On Kalamazoo College
“I planned to go into political science, not theatre, when I first came to K, but as time went on, I realized I was finding myself in theatre. A lot of exciting things were going on there. It was a great environment, and the people became like family. Lanny Potts was a great mentor to me.”