Theatre Students Visit Branson

March 7, 2024

by Gloria Howard, Theatre Student

Theatre Students visit Branson

My name is Gloria Howard, and I am a Sophomore at Barclay College. I am studying Psychology with a minor in theater. The Barclay College Theater is a program unlike anything that I have ever experienced before. We often refer to it as the theater family, and I cannot think of better words to describe it. At every rehearsal and dance practice, I get to see my family. One of my favorite things about our theater program is that we intentionally work to do everything for the glory of God. Performing is a form of worship; when we act, we get to serve God.

When a small group of us had the opportunity to go on an acting trip to Branson Missouri, we were all very excited. As I reflect on our trip, I see that we learned a lot, not only about acting but also about each other. Spending over 12 hours in the car with my group allowed us to talk, listen to music, and hear each other’s stories. On our way up to Branson, we stopped at Lamberts for supper. That meal was delicious, soul-nourishing, and a bonding experience in and of itself. As we caught rolls, laughed, and talked, we began our trip with yummy food and lots of joy.

After Lamberts, we watched the Haygoods perform their show in Branson. This was a highlight of the trip as we heard and watched remarkable instrumentals, vocals, and choreography. We saw the Haygoods suspend on ziplines, tap upside down, play every instrument known to man, and sing in gorgeous harmonies. In theater, as an actress, I always want the audience to feel something along with my character. Although the Haygoods are set up more like a concert than a musical, I still felt things along with them. I laughed, cried, and was in awe of the beauty of their show.

The following day, we visited the Titanic Museum in Branson. This museum was compelling because they started by handing you your character on a piece of paper. Your character is an actual person who was on Titanic. As you go through the museum, you learn more about your character until the end, when you discover whether you lived or died. Although it was horrible to learn about the tragedy of the Titanic, predicting whether our characters would live in the end was engrossing. After leaving the Titanic Museum, we attended a Shakespeare Masterclass by the Elite Acting Studio. It was taught by the “Chosen” actor Erick Avari, who taught us how to understand and intentionally perform works by Shakespeare. Beyond the excitement of getting to meet Erick Avari, it was fun to interact with the others in the class as well. Because it was only a small gathering, we got to know each other and

Erick Avari by asking questions and learning more about our goals. After he taught us how to interpret and portray Shakespeare, he also taught us some tips for acting. We learned the importance of finding how you relate to the character you represent. In addition, he led us through breathing exercises to help us relax and become grounded. Erick stressed the importance of being grounded as an actor to portray your characters accurately and thoroughly. After the breathing exercises, some of us had an opportunity to perform monologues for Erick and have him critique us. Although I did not personally perform a monologue, I learned a lot from his tips and suggestions for the other actors.

In the end, this trip was full of community-building experiences and a fantastic opportunity to grow in our acting abilities. From conversations in the car to breathing exercises on the floor, I can confidently say that I learned more about myself and those around me. I cannot wait to use the skills I learned through this class to better my acting in the future at Barclay.

Barclay College, in Haviland, KS, provides on-campus and online undergrad programs, and a Master of Arts in Theology online with eight ministry concentrations. Barclay emphasizes a biblical foundation for evangelical faith traditions and offers Full Tuition Scholarships to dorm residents.

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