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Class of 2021: Zack Callis

Zack Callis leaves footprints all over Alumni Hall, where he grew as an actor, director, and technician. For his capstone, the Theatre Arts major directed the one-act play, “Fire Exit,” which prompts the audience to ask questions, think for yourselves, and don’t believe everything you’re told. His experience as a teaching assistant with Theatre Arts professor Gené Fouché left no doubt as to how theatre inspires creativity, change, and can grow self-confidence. It also made him realize that he too can teach theatre.

Zack Callis

Zack Callis is a Theatre Arts major from Damascus, Maryland.

When I took my first step on the Hill, I was: excited to begin this new chapter of my life and make new memories!

The me who will ring the Old Main bell on Commencement Day is: confident in my abilities as a theatre artist and can proudly use the skills I’ve learned in any job post-graduation.

Real world experiences: I was able to work with the Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET), which was founded by one of our professors, Gené Fouché. I also had the opportunity to go to Ireland and England on a Theatre Jan Term.

Aha moment: Was directing my first show here. Though we all understand that theatre is a collaborative art form, you really don’t get just how collaborative until you work directly with everyone involved in the production.

Footprints I’m leaving on the Hill: All over the Alumni Hall. There I grew as an actor, director and technician.

Professor who most influenced who I have become: Gené Fouché. I was able to be a teaching assistant (TA) for two courses Gené taught and saw, firsthand, how theatre inspires creativity, change, and can grow self-confidence. It also made me realize that hopefully one day, I too can teach theatre.

My mentor. For life.: This one is tough. Either Gené or Elizabeth van den Berg. They have both been instrumental in my theatre education during my time here. Both have extensive knowledge of the industry and I know that even once I graduate, I can still come to them with questions.

Best class ever: I would have to go with Group Process in Interactive Theatre (now called Ensemble Practices). In that class, we were able to create theatre that meant something to us. We also worked as a community to build the piece.

Took me totally by surprise: Just how much of a community McDaniel is. Though we’re a small school everyone knows everyone and we’re all willing to help one another out!

My favorite spot on campus: Harvey Stone Pavilion. It’s kind of tucked away and just serene.

My capstone: Directing a one-act play called “Fire Exit.”

What it’s about: “Fire Exit” reminds us to ask questions, think for ourselves, and don’t believe everything you’re told. The easy answer is never what it seems.

Capstone translated: “Fire Exit” opens in the aftermath of a prank that has gone terribly wrong. The story is told through monologues, which eventually leads to the truth.

What’s next: I’ll be working with Georgetown Aquatics and eventually, go to grad school to pursue my M.F.A. in Directing.

About Zack

Name: Zack Callis

Major: Theatre Arts

Class of 2021