Melissa Friesen

What excites you the most about teaching theatre?
What excites me is seeing the excitement blossom in my students when they discover a passion for theatre. Seeing that spark, delight and passion ignited is wonderfully rewarding. As a director, it would be helping the students grow and accomplish things they might not think they were capable of achieving.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a theatre professor?
Right after college, I was a high school English teacher and drama director. I realized the best part of my day was directing - working with the theatre students. So I decided to pursue my graduate studies in theatre to become a theatre professor.

What is your favorite class to teach and why?Melissa Friesen
I think it's probably Oral Interpretation. The students in the class are coming from various majors and I enjoy the challenge of connecting the course content to their interests.

What is your favorite event on campus?
In a crazy way, it's probably May Day weekend because that is the date for the musical each year. Despite the chaos of final rehearsals, May Day provides the pay off of performing for the larger Bluffton community. I like ending the school year in a celebratory way.

When you are not teaching, what do you enjoy doing?
I love watching movies. Reading good novels. Eating food that other people prepare...not cooking. I also enjoy traveling, but don't get to do as much as I would like.

What was the first job you ever had?
The first job I had was definitely babysitting. I taught private violin lessons when I was in high school to grade school students. I also shelved books as a "page" at the library.

What extracurricular activities were you involved in when you were a college student?
I acted in the plays and musicals. Played violin in the college orchestra and sang in the choirs.

Where is your favorite place to go on vacation?
My family takes a regular vacation to the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I love that. The most exciting vacation was to Italy. The history, culture and food were amazing. I hope to go again.

What is your specific area of interest/expertise in theatre?
I consider myself a theatre generalist and enjoy a wide variety of genres. So, I am happy to be at Bluffton and be able to choose a variety of scripts for the musicals and plays. I'm particularly drawn to comedies and witty dialogue.

What are some things on your 'bucket list'?
Definitely travel more, but I'm not terribly picky about where I go. I'm more inclined to take life as it comes. I don't really have a bucket list at this moment in time.