“We must all do theatre to find out who we are and to discover who we could become.”
With all of the pride in the world and care in our hearts, we are proud to announce and congratulate the fall 2021 graduates from the Department of Theatre and Dance! We have four seniors who have dedicated their education to studying the performance arts and creating magic in an effort to impact of the world of theatre. They have persevered through these uncertain, changing times and have come out stronger and more prepared than before. We can say, without a doubt, each graduate has made such an incredible impact in the Department of Theatre and Dance and at Missouri State University.
With that, we could not be more overjoyed to congratulate the following seniors: Breelyn Hale, Bailey Doran, Savanna Collins, and Ra’chelle Hedgespeth!
Breelyn Hale (she/her) is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Theatre Education. Her favorites memories of her time in undergrad include being a part of so many cool opportunities on campus. She would like to give a special thanks to faculty member CJ Maples- “I can’t say enough nice things! But, overall, she’s an amazing person and a true blessing to Missouri State and the Reynolds College of Arts and Letters!”
Following graduation, Breelyn plans to move back to Oklahoma, get married, and get her dream job of teaching theatre at a middle school or high school.
Bailey Doran (she/her) is graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Theatre and a Bachelor of Science in Dance. Her credits here at MSU include Sarah in Blind Harassment, Hermione in Because I Am Your Queen with the BA/BS Guest Artist series, Sabine in Most Massive Woman Wins with the BA/BS Senior Presentations, Properties Designer for She Kills Monsters with T&D Mainstages, Costume Assistant for the 2021 Tent Theatre season, Dancer in the 2021 Spring Dance Concert- Dancing the Next Dimension, and Choreographer for the 2020 Fall Dance Concert.
When asked about her favorite memories from her time here, she stated, “Being in student run productions are amazing. Getting to meet students from all different degrees within the program and seeing how we come together to create such amazing work without the help of faculty always amazes me. It really speaks to the faculty and the program itself that the students are able to branch out and create such amazing productions.”
She would also like to give some special thanks. “I am very Thankful for all of the T&D faculty for helping me grow during my time at Missouri State. When I came here, I had no clue what I was doing, and it was because of the faculty (especially Sarah Willcoxon, Ruth Barnes, Azaria Hogans, Kyle A. Thomas, Samantha Morrow, and Cynthia Winstead) that I was able to find a safe space to be able to create and explore the different aspects of theatre. While I’m still not 100% sure what I want to do with my degree, these amazing people have given me the tools to be able to further explore in my post-graduation life. Thank you guys so very, very much.”
Following graduation, Bailey plan to continue working as a Costume Assistant at Springfield Little Theatre and exploring her newfound love for the technical aspects of theatre. She may also consider grad school eventually.
Savanna Collins is graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.
Ra’chelle Hedgespeth (she/her) is graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Her credits and production roles include Dancer in Fresh People, Dancer in the Mixed Metaphors dance concert, Player in Pippin with T&D Mainstage, Choreographer and Dancer for the 2019 Fall Dance Concert PreVail, Choregrapher and Dancer for Santa’s Twerkshop with MOState Dance Co., Extra for local music videos and Strange Music, Executive Producer/Director/Choreographer/Dancer/ for the Slips Away dance film, Production Assistant for the film Dirt, Key P.A. for Sooner Than Later Studios, Casting Director Intern for Green Glass Casting, and a self-represented model.
She shared with us that, “My favorite type of experiences here have been the creative environments my peers, mentors, and I have been able to create. These moments are what I have been waiting for my whole life. There is an overwhelming sense of peace, tranquility, and an over abundance of creativity, support, and a wonderful sense of mental expansion through philosophy and science.”
She also had some special thanks to give. “While all of my professors were outstanding, one in particular truly stood out and stepped up to bat for me every time I faced extreme adversity and/or expressed great curiosity or grief- Ruth Barnes. Her youthful energy inspires me and helps me harness my own powers at the same time. She seems to understand the turmoil of the classic tortured artist. Ruth has a knack for seeing the potential in every student and does everything in her power to create a space that allows for each student to bloom. I am truly honored to have worked with her through my whole career here at Missouri State.”
Following graduation, Ra’chelle plans to move to Kansas City to pursue some pretty exciting opportunities. “I started working with a production company early in the semester, and they are very excited for me to begin this new stage of my journey beyond college. They are eager to get me working on expand my acting abilities as well as support me in my Director role with dance film.”
Together, Breelyn, Bailey, Savanna, and Ra’chelle are the future of their fields in the performing arts industry. They are leaving the Department of Theatre and Dance with their heads held high, a mountain of support behind them, and the knowledge of what it means to be a Bear. We wish you the best of luck out there, graduates. Wherever life takes you, remember all those you have impacted and that you have made an incredible Missouri State-ment.
The Department of Theatre and Dance will not be the same without you.