Professionals who make their living as actors, playwrights, performers, musicians, add a valuable dimension to our ongoing exploration of the performing arts. Our department has been fortunate to host, work with, and learn from, some of the best and brightest in the field, including the following:
Robert Duvall (C’53)
Academy Award-winning actor and Principia alum Robert Duvall considers himself a late bloomer. Despite that, Mr. Duvall has carved a niche for himself in the world of movies, through an illustrious career spanning mainstream and outsider roles, memorable for characterization and authenticity. View a video of Duvall’s talk.
David Lovegren (US'73, C'77)
Animation film producer David Lovegren formed an animation studio for the production of Hoodwinked! after working on Disney's Fantasia/2000 and the direct-to-video feature The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea. His main message to Principia College students during his visit was to think about careers now! "Don't wait until graduation to practice what you want to pursue," he said. "Utilize this campus as a laboratory to practice your craft." Read an article about Lovegren's visit in PrincipiaWire.
After an extensive professional performance career in dance and theatre, Meg Eginton created and led Movement for Actors programs for Atlantic Theatre/New York University Tisch School for the Arts, FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training and American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, and teaches Eginton Alignment and Movement for Actors internationally. Eginton Alignment work is a part of Principia’s theatre training.
Kristie Karsen (C’77)
Kristie Karsen is the Artistic Directorof Santa Fe REP (which stands for Real Experience for Professionals). After graduating from Principia, she worked as a professional actress, singer, and dancer on Broadway and in Chicago, including working with choreographers such as Tommy Tune, Thommie Walsh, Ron Field, Larry Fuller, and Danny Daniels. Karsen has led musical theatre and audition workshops for Principia theatre majors. During one of her campus visits, she commented, “The qualities we are nurturing at Principia are what businesses need.”
A professional Broadway actor, Mark Ledbetter has appeared in a variety of shows, including the first national tours of The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie,and Broadway productions of Anything Goes, Mary Poppins, A Christmas Story, and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Ledbetter has led musical theatre and audition workshops for Principia theatre majors, coaching audition pieces and teaching choreography from the musical Matilda. During mock auditions, Ledbetter advised students, “You must be specific. Whatever the moment is, . . . you must commit to it completely.”
Founder and director of Hua Dan, one of China’s first and leading social enterprises, Caroline Watson uses the power of participation in drama to empower individuals and communities. Her recent workshop and talk at Principia, Using the Arts as a Tool for Social Change, introduced students to the theatre techniques of Augusto Boal and his Theatre of the Oppressed. “We need the artist in the world,” she told students. “Spirituality has to be at the core of everything we do.”