Shining Student Xavier Michaud finds creative inspiration through the people he meets and the stories he hears, integrating this into his artistic practice in the theatre and beyond. Working on productions and taking part in international workshops has allowed Xavier to get the most out of his education at the University of Lethbridge.

My instructors at the University have helped to open my eyes as to what is possible with theatre design and have always challenged me to do my best work, but also experiment with my art while I am here at ULethbridge.

Meet Xavier. Curious. Determined. Loyal.
Bachelor of Fine Arts - Dramatic Arts | Major: Technical/Design

Why did you choose to pursue fine arts at ULethbridge?

I chose to pursue fine arts at ULethbridge because I was interested in the technical/design program offered by the department of drama. Coming out of high school, I developed a love for working behind-the-scenes doing theatre and I was looking for a place that I could continue to study and deepen my understanding of stagecraft.

What inspires your artistic/musical practice?

My main source of inspiration as a theatre practitioner has always been the stories and people that I work with. My main goal when I do design is to help tell the story of the script in front of me, so I pull a lot of my inspiration from the text itself, and anything that it brings to mind.

With theatre being such a collaborative art form, I also draw a lot of my inspiration from the people that I work with in an effort to create a cohesive picture on stage. The people that I have gotten the opportunity to work with at ULethbridge have pushed me to strive to be my best.

Did you know what you wanted to study before you came to ULethbridge? Has your academic plan changed since you began your studies?

I came the the University knowing that I wanted to study technical theatre. At the time that I started I was primarily interested in lighting design and technology, and while that has remained my main interest, I have been given the opportunity to try my hand in different design areas during my time here that have furthered my excitement in pursuing a career in design for theatre more broadly.

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?

My most memorable moments at the University so far has been getting the opportunity to work with TheatreXtra, a student driven theatre company at the University. It has given me a great opportunity to work with my peers, from putting together productions, to working through the problems that come up throughout the process. It is an excellent opportunity to get real experience working on productions.

How have your professors or instructors impacted your education?

My instructors at the University have helped to open my eyes as to what is possible with theatre design and have always challenged me to do my best work, but also experiment with my art while I am here at ULethbridge.

Particularly, Lee Burckes has been great for getting me to think outside of the box and technique, and Dave Smith is giving me the push that I need to be confident in myself and the ideas that I put forward in the theatre.

Have you received any scholarships and awards?

I have received some scholarships and awards through the University. These have been a great help for me because they have given me the flexibility to focus more on my studies, as well as extra curricular work in the theatre, so that I can get the most out of my time at ULethbridge. This summer, I received support through the Global Skills Opportunity Scholarship to participate in an internship in France, where I got the opportunity to do design work on a workshop production at the Roy Hart Centre (Centre Artistique International Roy Hart).

Tell us about your experiential or work-integrated learning opportunities at ULethbridge and how these have enhanced your education?

During my time at the University, I have had the pleasure of working on a variety of productions in the department of drama, both Mainstage and TheatreXtra. Working on these productions has really helped me to hone my skills in a variety of roles in a practical environment outside of the classroom and has been some of the best experiences I have had at the University.

What are your hopes/plans for the future?

In the future, I am hoping to get started working professionally with theatre companies in southern Alberta, doing a mix of technical and design work.

What advice would you like to give those about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?

My advice to future students is to knock on as many doors as you can, even if you don't think you're qualified to do something. If you're interested, it is worth a shot. This is a place where we come to learn, not be perfect, so take risks and experiment.

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