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Senior Amanda Klipsch works with Theater Professor Steven Schepker on the set for a recent production of All My Sons.
It takes a creative mind and a strong work ethic to design and build quality scenic stage sets for a theatrical production. The demand for an exceptional student willing to dedicate hours of thought and labor to a project opened the doors for student Amanda Klipsch to meet the challenge.
Amanda has been working in Southeastern’s theater program since she was a freshman. Her focus has been in scenic design in theatre, and she has earned several awards for her work over the years.
“I love working in the Southeastern Theatre program,” said Klipsch.
“It has provided me with more opportunities to design and work shows as an undergrad than I would have gotten at any other school.”
A senior majoring in general studies with a theater concentration, she has worked as the scenic director on several productions, including The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Servant of Two Masters and Parking Lot Babies, for which she received awards for graphic and scenic design. She has also worked in lighting and as the technical director for productions.
“Amanda has been helping to design sets since she was a freshman,” says Steve Schepker, professor of theater design and technical directing. “She has a great work ethic and works as hard as anyone in the department. She’s a student designer we can count on.”
“Amanda brings several important qualities to our program,” says James Winter, assistant professor of acting and directing. “She genuinely cares about producing something successful and of artistic merit.”
Winter recalled when the department brought Parking Lot Babies to the regional round of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in 2010.
“After losing our funding to budget cuts, we also lost our technical faculty and staff who were going to join us on the trip,” said Winter. “As a sophomore scenic designer, Amanda led the all-student cast and crew through an intense, four-hour technical load in of our play, which went on to win the festival and garner numerous national commendations, including one for her scenic design. The highpoint was watching her do the same job that required multiple faculty members at other schools and actually do it better than almost any of them.”
Klipsch is currently applying to graduate schools around the nation. She hopes to find a strong program where she can continue to use the skills she learned at Southeastern and keep doing what she loves.
“I’m hoping the experience I’ve gotten at Southeastern will help me get into a good graduate school, where I can major in scenic design,” she said.