Sarah Van Deusen ’16 , from Chattanooga, Tenn., performed as a summer intern with the Barter Players at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Va. The Barter brings high quality theater to young audiences. This summer’s productions included “The Jungle Book,” “Rapunzel,” and “The Old Turtle and the Broken Truth.”
After she visited 20 universities and acting conservatories, Van Deusen chose Wittenberg because it stood out from the rest. “I was seeking a school with a tight-knit community and a theatre program that would allow me to grow as an actor, but also pursue other interests. Wittenberg offered me the chance to immerse myself both in theatre and the English department,” she said.
Van Deusen credited her experiences in the Department of Theatre and Dance for giving her a strong foundation in the arts and cultivating her love of performance. She acknowledged the personal support, inspiration and kindness from professors in her development. “My experiences with the supportive, inspiring faculty are what I cherish most about these last few years,” she said. In addition to the kindness of Corwin A. Georges, Department of Theatre and Dance chair, and Professors Patrick Reynolds and Mike Mattison, she explained that they “lead by example—their empathy, encouragement and dedication to service, motivated me to listen more and be a little braver.”
Van Deusen intends to pursue acting and acknowledged how difficult a career in the arts can be. As an actor, she wants to serve audiences to the best of her ability. She is also interested in directing and teaching.
A theatre and English double major, Van Deusen has appeared in 11 productions at Wittenberg. She works as an advisor in the Writing Center and an office assistant in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Van Deusen is also a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. “Come here if you want professors and peers who care deeply.” She said. “They will be there to celebrate your victories. They will be there to assist you through hard times. These personal connections have enriched my life in countless ways.”