Shining Student Carson Rafuse is making the most of his schooling through the combined degree program with education. Exploring his interests in stage combat, directing, writing and more, Carson is preparing for his future in theatre education and beyond.
I have had so many incredible instructors and professors in my time at ULethbridge. The professors really take the time to get to know you and give you specific and very helpful feedback. I really feel like my instructors want me to succeed, and they have a great base of knowledge, making the professors one of the best parts of the program.
Why did you choose to pursue fine arts at ULethbridge?
I chose the University of Lethbridge because of its excellent reputation in both drama and education.
The drama program at ULethbridge speaks to me for its focus on many areas of theatre, allowing students to explore different and exciting interests. I have always believed theatre to be holistic, and the performance major as well as the flexibility in the combined degree program really support that philosophy.
What inspires your artistic/musical practice?
I tend to find my inspiration in the people around me. My artistic practice is very focused on how I can teach, bolster and support my collaborators, so I am always seeking to create shows and projects that will both challenge and highlight everyone working on it. Once you find collaborators and peers that are truly wonderful to work with, the rest comes easy.
Did you know what you wanted to study before you came to ULethbridge? Has your academic plan changed since you began your studies?
I've always known that I wanted to take the combined drama and education program, and my studies have solidified that. I have learned in my time at the University that some of my key areas of interest within the theatre are directing, stage combat, movement, theatre for young audiences and play writing.
What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
For me, the most memorable parts of my education have been the six productions I have been involved with through both the University Mainstage and TheatreXtra. All of them have been excellent experiences, but my two highlights would have to be those from this previous semester. I was incredibly fortunate to be an actor in "The Little Prince" adapted by Nicola Elson, and the fight director and captain for "The Atomic Age" by Jess Syratt at TheatreXtra.
How have your professors or instructors impacted your education?
I have had so many incredible instructors and professors in my time at ULethbridge. The professors really take the time to get to know you and give you specific and very helpful feedback.
I really feel like my instructors want me to succeed, and they have a great base of knowledge, making the professors one of the best parts of the program.
Have you received any scholarships and awards?
I have received scholarships both from the University, including the George Ryga Memorial Scholarship, and organizations outside of it, and it has made a huge difference in my access to education. I would not be able to attend university if it wasn't for the financial support I have received from the many people who donate and contribute to fine arts scholarships.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
I don't know exactly what the future holds, but I know I will continue my journey in both theatre and education. I hope to explore many more different areas of theatre as I move outside of the University theatre, including artistic direction, production management, direction and fight choreography.
What advice would you like to give those about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?
Audition for everything you can! The best thing you can do early on as a student in the drama department is to get involved, so audition for every opportunity, whether it is a Mainstage or TheatreXtra show, or directing project!
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