Katherine Witschen ’14 says that when, as a freshman, she landed the role of Anne Hathaway in the Department of Performing Arts’ spring 2011 performance of Amy Freed’s “The Beard of Avon,” she was surprised but excited.
“It was a challenge to not only memorize the traditional Shakespearian language with a British accent, but also do so in a very short period of time,” Witschen says. “It was a huge learning experience. I feel like I have grown as an actor playing Anne because she was out of my comfort zone.”
While Salve Regina’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance attracts students who choose to major in either music or theater, Witschen found the choice impossible. She decided to major in both while also supplementing her study of the arts with a third major in business administration.
“At the beginning of my freshman year, I sought help from the Office of Career Development and my professors,” Witschen says. “They were very helpful in showing me careers that best fit my personality. I decided to add the business major because it will help me market myself as an actor and also allow me to be multifaceted in the theater world.”
At times Witschen favors one discipline over the other, but says that for the most part, she is passionate about both music and theater. “They are compatible with each other, and having a hand in both makes me a well-rounded performer,” she says. “I have been on stage my whole life and I cannot imagine having a career in any other business.”
Witschen, who plans to pursue an MFA after graduation, says that Salve Regina continues to challenge her and provide her with the individual attention necessary to improve her craft. “I get the chance to work with talented people that push me and want to see me succeed,” she says. “Our professors are all very knowledgeable about the subjects they are teaching, and they want to see you not only pass but learn.”
Aside from her turn as Anne Hathaway, Witschen is involved with the University Chorus, the Madrigals, the newly formed Opera Workshop and the student organizations Stagefright and SRU Dance. “I love that I can go from opera to Madrigals to play rehearsal all in one day, all the while working with my friends,” she says.