Name: Dylan Ballantine
Hometown: Avon, Minn.
I didn't come to CSB/SJU intending to be a theater major. But during my first year of college, I started to realize that theater was where I wanted to be, and I couldn't really imagine my life without it.
I chose to focus on acting. Though I've tried my hand at some technical theater, nothing really floats my boat quite like being up on stage. It's not just the gratification of performance, but the confidence and determination that I've developed as a result. Perhaps I'll end up going to grad school for acting, or then again, perhaps not. I do feel well prepared for whatever path I choose.
I love the fact that everyone feels like a part of the show. If you are in the Introduction to the Costuming Process class, you'll be learning by helping make the costumes for the department show. The Technical Production I class might play a large role in the set construction. No matter who you are or what your specialty is, there is a good chance you can show up for the performance and say, "hey, I painted that leaf on the bottom corner of the backdrop." And you'll be awfully proud of that leaf.
The semester isn't long enough to do everything. Because there is so much more than just the department shows happening each semester, it's a juggling act for all of us to get everything done (and on time).
|Ballantine performed in "The House of Yes," a dark comedy by Wendy MacLeod, in spring 2007.|
You learn very quickly in this program to be on a first name basis with your professors. I feel absolutely comfortable approaching any one of my professors for anything. I think this program does a good job of balancing respect and informalities.
We get up in the morning and go to class together, followed by lunch together, and then more class together. After class, we'll most likely have rehearsal for something together. In my opinion, there is no other major on this campus where the students are as close knit as the theater students. And although we get along great and then fight like siblings, any one of us could really go out to lunch with any combination of five theater majors and feel totally at ease. As cheesy as it sounds, we are always there for each other. The friendships and comradely I've found here are something I wouldn't trade for anything.
I am currently the president of The Smiles and Frowns: Drama Club. Drama Club is a great opportunity for both theater and non-theater students to have a creative outlet in the theater world. We plan several projects every year, such as Hodgepodge (a night of random artistic talents in Brother Willie’s Pub), workshops (including mask making and auditioning), script writing parties, improvisation Sundays, and good old-fashioned light sabering. Biases aside, I really feel Drama Club is a great place for anyone at all interested in theater.
|In spring 2005, Ballantine was in "Museum," a one-act play by Tina Howe.|
I went to London, England, during the fall semester of 2006. London was a lot of fun, and I highly recommend studying abroad. I was able to intern at a small fringe theater called the Finborough, which was an incredible experience. I also played ultimate Frisbee on two London teams.
Get involved right away, come to the theater orientation dinner, and meet people. Audition for the fall show if you can. The best way to succeed in this department is to stay motivated, driven by what it is that you want to get out of this program. You can do a lot of really cool things in this program, just buckle up and get ready.
Ballantine spent fall 2006 abroad on the London program. While there, he had the opportunity to enhance his theater experience in many ways. For example, he interned at Finborough, a small fringe theater.