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Senior Out-Acts Others, Wins Scholarship

Grace Gilmore ‘15, is the first Kalamazoo College student to win the Irene Ryan Scholarship. She is featured above in the fall production of Romeo and Juliet. (Kalamazoo College Theatre Dept.)

Grace Gilmore ‘15 recently won the KCACTF region III Irene Ryan Scholarship that involves over 250 other undergraduate and graduate students from school in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. “No one at K has ever won, so I was amazed that it was me,” Gilmore  said.

The Kalamazoo community is proud to see one of our own excel in their field of passion. “You audition with two scenes and a monologue,” Gilmore said. “I was, of course, shocked [to win].”

Gilmore can be considered a K theatre legacy, and she may have gained her talents through genetics and her environment. Both of her parents attended K and majored in theatre and she has been acting since elementary school. Sadly, she has no secrets of her own success to offer to aspiring thespians, but encourages everyone to give theatre a try.

“Acting is hard and takes a lot of time and discipline both on and off stage. If someone makes it look easy then they are a good actor,” Gilmore said.

She plans to put her seamless acting skills to another test in a couple of weeks when applying to graduate school for acting. “I would love to act professionally and eventually teach at a graduate level,” said Gilmore.

Professor of Acting Lanny Potts said “this is a really big deal.”

Gilmore’s outstanding theatre success hasn’t been talked about all that much, and not everyone is okay with that. Raphael Wieland ’18 would love to hear about K student’s success stories.

“Hearing about the merits of my peers would give me a sense of pride,” Wieland said. “It may even give me some ideas of interests to pursue. I would think that there would be a place for such prized honors to be displayed for the campus to see or a something on the Hornet Hive.”

The K community would like to support Gilmore, but they just didn’t know anything about the scholarship. “If I received something that’s a ‘really big deal’ I’d want to share it with people on campus,” Wieland said.

Students may not find theatre a viable major or trade, but Gilmore gives credit to the field.

“Public speaking, thinking creatively, and collaboration are taken for granted today, but they are such essential tools to being successful,” Gilmore said. “Theatre teaches all of that and more.”

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Senior Out-Acts Others, Wins Scholarship