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Left, Junior Megan McCargish (far right) helps first-year student John Wontrop choose a shirt for his headshot while sophomore Adrian Rowe reaches for another choice and sophomore Matt Baldwin watches with amusement.

A Theatre Festival experience

January 14, 2013

“Who is this guy?” Theatre Arts instructor Nick DePinto asks the students looking at one of their headshots on his laptop screen. “Would you buy a lottery ticket from him?”

DePinto, currently appearing in “Sheer Madness” at the Kennedy Center theater lab in D.C., just finished taking a series of headshots of the students and is shepherding them through the good and the bad of what may someday serve as their theatre business cards.

During these Jan Term sessions, DePinto is preparing his students to join more than 900 of their peers from 79 colleges and universities for the Region II Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Jan. 12-16. At the festival and in class, they will work on skills that span auditions, directing, lighting, set design, critical review and more.

But more importantly, DePinto is helping them develop as theatre professionals. Today’s class lesson deals with the headshots, commercial and dramatic, they may someday use to open a stage door.

The students – mostly Theatre Arts majors with one Political Science and one Psychology major who simply love theatre – are quick to add their comments as one after another’s photo appears on the screen.

“He’s in the moment.”

“He’s the guy on the Home Depot commercial who says ‘you can do it yourself.’”

“He’s happy with the toothpaste he just bought.”

DePinto nods his approval.

“You want to appear emotionally open and engaging – that you aren’t afraid of the camera or the moment.

 
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