Living the dream
Graduate takes his acting skills to the professional stage
KENNESAW, Ga. (May 8, 2017) — Landing a theater job straight out of college is the dream of many young actors, yet it often seems the odds are stacked against them.
College of the Arts graduate Danny Crowe didn’t let that deter him, however.
Crowe, who bears a passing resemblance to Jon Hamm, the actor who played bad-boy-adman Don Draper on AMC’s hit series Mad Men, naturally exudes plenty of the self-confidence necessary to earn roles in the competitive world of acting.
“I've booked a yearlong contract with a theater company called Playhouse on the Square in Memphis,” said the lanky 23-year-old from Marietta who’s graduating with a Bachelor of Art degree in Theatre and Performance Studies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only some 610 actors working in Tennessee. Starting this month, Crowe will join their ranks.
“I will be working and acting professionally in their season for the next year, then I will most likely relocate to Atlanta, since I've established several awesome connections here that could provide a lot of exciting future artistic opportunities,” he said.
Those professional connections, self-confidence and talent are what set Crowe apart from many of his young peers in the industry.
Crowe’s resume boasts several beefy parts in 13 Kennesaw State University productions, including, most recently, that of the dashing Russian army officer Vershinin, the lead role, in Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters.
His professional credits include such roles as Banquo in Macbeth and Lumière in Beauty and the Beast, with the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival. He also completed the National Theatre School of Ireland-Gaiety School of Acting study abroad program through Kennesaw State.
Crowe recently served as the understudy for Jesus, Judas and Simon under the direction of Alan Kilpatrick for The Atlanta Lyric’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
“Perhaps, the best time I had here was working on the show Spring Awakening,” Crowe said. “I played the lead role of Melchior, which was a dream role of mine, in a show that introduced me to the direction of one of my mentors, Rick Lombardo. It was a wonderfully realized production and the incredibly talented cast was made up of some of my very best friends.”
This past winter, Lombardo, chair of the department Theatre and Performance Studies, directed the world premiere of a new play, Ring Twice for Miranda, at the New York City Center Stage 2 and enlisted Crowe to serve as his assistant from rehearsals through the play’s January premiere.
A large part of his experience has been shaped by his COTA professors and mentors, he said. So, when asked to single out one of these, he mentioned several.
“There’s Rick Lombardo, Jan Wikstrom, Amanda Wansa Morgan, Karen Robinson, Angela Farr Schiller, Dawn Eskridge, Carolyn Dorff, Gary Hicks, John Gentile, Judy Cole, Alex Crosett, Oral Moses, Charlie Parrott, Henry Scott, Harrison Long, and Margaret Baldwin,” he said.
“Each of them has pushed me in very different ways, and I owe all the success I've had to them,” Crowe said.
“Learning how to handle and accept rejection is a very big part about being an artist. And I've had my share. This program has taught me how to accept it, not let it get me down, and use it as a learning tool and fuel for my own personal growth.”
A graduate of Marietta’s Kell High School, Crowe said he decided to attend KSU “because it not only had the most exciting theatre program that I found in the state, but was a beautiful university that had a very homey feel to it.”
– Robert S. Godlewski
Photos by Lauren Lopez de Azua
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.