Sterling College Theatre Alumni Succeed in Graduate Programs
Ask Sterling College alumni Megan Baker ‘06 and Jean Bosch ’09 if they have finished learning about their profession, and the answer from both would be an emphatic “no!” The two theatre majors are pursuing Masters of Arts degrees—Baker at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Theatre History and Dramaturgy and Bosch at the University of Kansas in Theatre—and they plan to pursue further degrees following the completion of their current programs.
“I want to do some further research on the woman who is the subject of my thesis—a Romantic playwright named Joanna Baillie,” said Baker, “—and write a book (or several) about her life and work. Basically, I’m planning to find little topics to geek out over for the rest of my life.”
Bosch said, “One of the best parts of grad school has been discovering all sorts of new and complex ideas and realizing that not only do they excite me, but I am also becoming equipped to enter into and contribute to the discussions I encounter.”
This passion for learning has served both alumni well in graduate school. Baker has been a dramaturg (a research, criticism, and commentary assistant to the director) for three UMKC productions, works as a script-reader for the Unicorn Theatre, and has taught two semesters of the undergraduate Foundations of Theatre course at UMKC. She is also the editor and chief writer for the UMKC Theatre Department’s national publication, “Theatre Training News.” Bosch was recently cast as Evangeline Harcourt in KU’s upcoming production of “Anything Goes” (for more information visit www.kutheatre.com) and is employed in the KU costume theatre shop.
Diane DeFranco-Kling, assistant professor of theatre at Sterling, is not surprised by Baker and Bosch’s success. “Megan Baker is a gifted actress who has a great ability to design and fantastic organizational skills. She could go into many areas, but she’s decided to go into dramaturgy because her intellectual bent has pulled her into the realm of theatre history. She’s so inquisitive and wants to know the ‘why’ of things. These qualities will make her a wonderful teacher.”
"Jean Bosch, as well, has an incredible potential to pursue whatever she wants, and this role that she has in ‘Anything Goes’ will be the start of many great things from her. She, like Megan, is such an academic, and I think she, too, will find her niche in teaching.”
Baker and Bosch are both grateful to Sterling College’s Theatre Department for preparing them for graduate school. “I honestly feel that if I hadn’t gone to Sterling, if I hadn’t experienced a truly collaborative theatrical atmosphere and had the opportunity to experiment with all areas of theatre (performance, costume design, directing, playwriting, etc.), that I would be following an entirely different and far narrower path,” said Baker. “Sterling gave me the opportunity to delve into my numerous and varied interests and helped me realize I don’t need to keep my focus narrow.”
Bosch said, “SC’s theatre program gave me a well-rounded experience that has allowed me to participate in multiple production areas when necessary. The example of community I found at Sterling has also shown me how to intentionally build relationships. Most of all, the spiritual growth I experienced at Sterling meant that, by the time I was faced with the challenges of grad school, I knew I had a solid foundation in Jesus Christ.”
Both are excited about continuing in their field. “I’m taking a year or two off to brush up on my foreign languages and do some other preparations,” said Baker, “but I’m hoping to start my doctorate within the next three to five years.”
“I am interested in dramaturgy and arts administration, but I am also considering going on to get my Ph.D.,” said Bosch.
“At this point I am keeping my options open. On a more abstract level, I see great potential for God to work through theatre, and I want to be a part of His plans for this powerful artistic medium.”