Kathryn Kessler

Name: Kathryn Kessler
Majors: Theater and Psychology
Graduation Year: 2004
Hometown: Edina, Minn.

What made you decide to major in theater?

I couldn't resist it. The department is full of extremely persuasive people.

Did you focus on any specific area of theater?

I loved acting most of all, but thanks to the liberal arts requirements of CSB/SJU, I learned about all aspects of theater: history, drama form, lighting design . . .

What did you like best about the theater program at CSB/SJU?

The relationships I formed with older students challenged me to prove myself.

What was the biggest struggle you encountered in the program?

Trying to balance theater and non-theater life. The most valuable lesson I learned: don't live with other theater majors. You need to have a life outside the department to be a more balanced actor/director/stage manager/etc.

What kind of relationship did you have with your professors?

Years later we have spread around the country, but they are still my mentors, directors and friends.

How was the interaction between students in the CSB/SJU theater program?

Competitive, challenging, caring, instructive.

What advice do you have for students that are just entering the theater program at CSB/SJU?

Educational theater is so unusual in that it's more about the process than the product. I loved that. Use this time to learn, to explore, and to make bold new choices.

Did you study abroad?

Yes, and it was one of the most important choices I made in college. I learned how to travel, how and when to be frugal, how to make friends, how to lose friends, how to miss home, and how to take chances.

What are you doing now?

  • I work at Edina High School as the program supervisor for academic support – a liaison position where I get to use some counseling, some social work, some accounting, and some hip hop dancing – for students who come to Edina from the Minneapolis school district.
  • I perform at Comedy Sportz in Uptown Minneapolis on the weekends.
  • I am a part-time photographer of weddings and children.
  • I do theater whenever I get the chance. I've just applied for a McKnight Theater Fellowship Grant, so I'm waiting to hear about that.