Kristen Schuman is a 2012 alumni of the Cairn Community Arts Academy drama department. I can still remember her first show, when she debuted as Anne in our 2010 production of Anne of Green Gables. Kristen also took a year of piano lessons and guitar lessons, but her true love was the drama classes.
After graduating in 2012, Kristen enrolled at Regent University where she is currently studying theatre. I caught up with Kristen to ask her how her studies were going and how she felt Cairn Community Arts Academy had helped her prepare for her current studies.
I was delighted to hear that not only is she thriving in her studies at Regent, but that CCAA played an important part in helping her pursue her artistic endeavors. Kristen states-
“the Academy instilled a sense of creativity and community that are hard to find in most art programs. By the time I graduated I had experience acting, as well as creating, managing, and discussing theatre with other like minded people. This sense of collaboration, hard work, and care for others prepared me for the heightened arena of a collegiate and professional artistic environment. In a more practical sense, my training prepared me for many of my college experiences.”
Kristen has not only had opportunities to act in major productions, but she has served as an assistant stage manager in both a season and a professional production. She has also had the opportunity to direct (Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley) and has also had the opportunity to write and produce her own show.
Kristen was also recognized as the Outstanding Undergraduate Actress in both 2014 and 2015 (at Regent). Kristen has had quite an opportunity to learn and grow in the arts while attending college, but she is quick to express how grateful she is for the basic training she received at CCAA as it prepared her for her college experience.
Since CCAA teachers are committed to impacting lives for Christ, through the study of the arts, I asked Kristen how training at the Academy impacted her spiritually. Kristen’s reply was…
“The Academy challenged me to question the role of God and art, and what it meant to be a Christian artist. Since my graduation in 2012, I’ve been forced to gain a deeper understanding of what my role in the theatre industry is as a person of faith, and often my search has come back to essential truths I learned through my instructors at CCAA. I’m forever grateful that my directors took so much time to listen to me, to challenge me, and to help me grow. They always put my relationship with God first, and were willing to sacrifice their own time to cultivate my faith. The lessons I learned there have changed my life, perspective, and attitude towards Christian living, particularly as an artist.”