COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Connor Adair of Lipscomb University

Growing Up in Oklahoma and Being Involved in Theater Most of His Life Helped Prepare Him For Pursuing His Goals in College

By: Nov. 20, 2023
COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Connor Adair of Lipscomb University

As a theater critic who has been covering the regional scene for more than 35 years, nothing is more gratifying that reviewing productions from local colleges and universities which affords me the opportunity to see young actors as they stretch their wings, show off their innate talents and, well, evolve. Watching these young actors learn and grow is exciting, no matter the roles in which they are cast, but when you see someone in a role for which they are perfectly suited it’s even better.

COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Connor Adair of Lipscomb University For several years, our work for has included columns under our Collegiate Theatrics banner, which allows us to introduce many of these young actors to wider audiences, letting us trumpet their achievements and recognize them for their talents.

Today, we continue to celebrate the return of Collegiate Theatrics featuring one of our favorites from the theatre department at Nashville’s Lipscomb University: Connor Adair, a native of Edmond, Oklahoma. Throughout his time on-campus, he’s become a stalwart company member of virtually every Lipscomb University Theatre production we’ve reviewed, most recently taking on a significant supporting role in their acclaimed production of Big Fish.

COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Connor Adair of Lipscomb University We’re happy to introduce you to Connor Adair today and we look forward to showcasing some of our other favorites in the weeks and months to come.

Where are you from and how did you first become involved with theatre? I am from a suburb outside of Oklahoma City called Edmond; but when I graduated high school, my family moved to a suburb outside of Tulsa, called Broken Arrow! My first experience with theatre was when I was six years old in my school's production of The King and I, when I was one of the King's children with my twin sister! I also was super involved with the Missoula Children's Theatre company that travels around the U.S. providing students with the opportunity to perform that might not have the opportunity otherwise. This was the spark that kind of ignited my love for this art form. I was able to be in a couple college shows as a child, which introduced me to the people that got me involved in community theatre around the OKC metro area. Which also introduced me to the Kristin Chenoweth Broadway Bootcamp which was a HUGE factor in my decision to pursue this as a career path. So, from about 12-years-old, I was heavily involved in theatre and dance classes, shows, and camps and have never looked back since!

What led you to choose Lipscomb University? What has your college experience been like so far? Has it lived up to the hype? I LOVE this question! So, when I first started looking for schools around my junior year, Lipscomb was absolutely not on my radar at all! I was convinced that I wanted to go to a large school far away and pursue a more conservatory style theatre education, because I thought that was what you had to do. But when I really started to visit schools, my parents made me come visit Lipscomb to look at a Christian school that they had heard had a great theatre department! I was a little reluctant to come visit because I was pretty convinced it was not for me, and plus I had already started the prescreen, audition, callback, interview process for the other 10+ schools I had applied to. But when I got on campus something just felt different about Lipscomb. I absolutely loved everyone that I met inside and outside of the theatre department, and I was excited by the idea of getting to experience college/university life both inside and outside of the theatre department. I also loved that Lipscomb was so passionate about making us well-rounded artists and people working in this business, and we kind of get to experience a little bit of everything theatre related as a student here. Whether it is in the costume shop, doing voice-over acting with the animation students, or even singing with Andrea Bocelli downtown, the opportunities seem endless here, which is something that people don't necessarily expect about Lipscomb. Also, I love getting to spend every day with some of the most amazing professors on the planet (in my opinion!) that have taught me so much since my time here, while also actively working on their own awesome projects around Nashville! I love it here, I cannot say enough great things!

What does the future hold for you and how have your goals and aspirations changed since being at college? I'm excited to just keep doing the work and keep trying new things that scare me! I think that is one of the biggest things that college has taught me: as an artist the best thing we can do is run head-first into the things/projects that terrify us because that is going to grow us as people and performers! I think a lot of my career goals and aspirations have stayed the same, but I think I have added some things along the way! At Lipscomb, I have fallen even more in love with dance and I'm excited to see what opportunities that brings! I think I find new things every day in theatre that excite me and make me excited to go out and do all the things. I think it is good to have an open mind and know that aspirations and goals might change in college, because after all, this is the perfect time to figure it out, with so many opportunities at our fingertips!

COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Connor Adair of Lipscomb University What college theatrical experience has meant the most to you over the years? I think I have to say when I was in Mamma Mia my freshman year at Lipscomb! Coming into my freshman year, I wasn't expecting to be a part of the show at all! So, when I got cast as a swing covering two ensemble tracks and two featured roles, I was ecstatic and genuinely horrified all at the same time. Luckily, professor Beki Baker, the amazing director of the show, gave us all the trust and tools that we needed to succeed, and we were surrounded by the most supportive cast. production team. It was such a formative time for me as a performer. It taught me how to be organized and prepared at any moment to step into the show, while also being a flexible performer. Swings/Understudies are the superheroes of this business! This experience taught me never to take understudies/swing for granted in any show I'm in because they are the real heroes of the show! It also gave me such an insight into the way that the whole process of a show works early on in my Lipscomb career which I feel like set me up super well moving forward!

What advice would you offer a high school student considering making the plunge and following your course of study of study at a university? I would just say be super open-minded and ready to learn! There is so much experience and information crammed into those four years, and really just be prepared to soak it up like a sponge. I would say to find the program that best fits you, and that might not be the flashiest school! I found my place and my tribe here at Lipscomb, and it was the perfect fit for me to thrive while also growing and being challenged. I would recommend they go visit as many of the schools as possible! It is so important to step on campus and into the department and really feel the energy and vibe and get to meet the people that you'll be spending your next four years with. Also, know that a career in this field looks so different for everybody, so don't compare yourself to everyone else's journey, do what's right for you and get out of college what you want out of it and not what others want, because it is your time that you only get to do once!

What's your next theatrical project? What comes next in your career trajectory? My next thing coming up is Elevate Dance Concert at Lipscomb in March! I'll be dancing all over Shamblin, so make sure to come see it! Professor Kari Smith, does a fantastic job every year, so it's definitely something you don't want to miss! I'll also be singing at the Musical Theatre Cabaret at Lipscomb in the spring as well. After that, we will see what opportunities come my way! As my time at Lipscomb is coming to an end, I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me, and I'll hopefully be out in New York before you know it!

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Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 35 years. In 1989, Ellis and his partner launched Dare, Tennes... Jeffrey Ellis">(read more about this author)

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