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COLLEGIATE THEATRICS: Lipscomb's Rebekah Stogner

School's out for summer, but that doesn't mean that college theater students are lounging by the pool, waiting for their next big break. Rather, if you're someone like Rebekah Stogner, an acting/journalism major at Nashville's David Lipscomb University, chances are you're preparing for the next audition and getting ready for fall semester.

A native of Brentwood, Rebekah most recently starred as Christine Schoenwalder in Circle Players' production of William Inge's Picnic near the end of her freshman year. Finding time from studies, rehearsals and writing her "Awkward Moments" blog (it's hilarious and something you need to check out ASAP at https://awkwardencountersofbekahstogner.wordpress.com ), she sat down to answer our Collegiate Theatrics questions.

How has your college career been thus far? My college theater career has been a very exciting ride so far! I cannot believe the immense opportunities I've been given at Lipscomb. Just working sound for West Side story was such an amazing experience, and the people in the department are just absolutely wonderful. I've met some of my best friends for life already. We're always being pushed to do more and achieve our best, no matter what level we are. I really couldn't ask for better.

Rebekah Stogner (center) with Laura Rader
and Judy Jackson in Picnic

What's your favorite part of studying at Lipscomb? My favorite part of studying at school has definitely been the theater classes offered. Just taking a semester of beginning acting improved me in ways I never expected, and the huge amount of classes offered just astounds me. I still can't get over the fact that I can take dance, set shop, musical theater study, acting, movement, and more...all in one semester if I wanted to!

Has the experience been what you thought it would be when you first embarked on this journey? When I entered Lipscomb, I was absolutely sure that I was going to be a writer and only dabble in community theater wherever I was. The journalism department is still great fun, but being here has raised my hopes and especially my drive to succeed in the theater future. I want to get out there and nail auditions and do dozens of shows if I can. I want to climb up the theater ladder and enjoy the struggle. My goal for life right now is to get on a national tour of a show; I think that would be such an amazing experience.

What's been your favorite moment thus far? I can't even choose one moment! I've had so many amazing bonding experiences over my first two semesters, ranging from helping sweaty actors put their mics on to watching documentaries in the theater lobby and jumping up and down screaming getting so into it. There have also been infinite moments of laughter and love. If I really had to choose one, it would be when I was helping paint the set for Medea in the fall during my set class. My wonderful set shop professor Andy Bleiler was trying to show someone how to make marks with a pencil and telling them that it was a thing he had just invented in a hysterical southern accent. I responded, "Mawmaw, we's gonna be rich!" in my dorkiest drawl. He thought this was hilarious and bestowed me with my permanent nickname Mawmaw. I just think that's the best.

Do you have any advice you'd share with a high school student getting ready to enter college? Even though you may think there's no way you'll ever pursue theater outside of high school, give it a go! There is absolutely no harm in taking theater class, no matter what your interests are. When you decide to devote your time to this craft, you'll run into the best people, the finest faculty, and experiences you'll remember forever. So stop questioning yourself and just go ahead and do it! Theater majors for life.



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