Artist Spotlight:

Anna Hainze

Hailing from the hearty stock of honey- and Christmas-tree-farming ancestors, senior Peter Welch was not always sure that he wanted to go into theater. In fact, he started at Lawrence as a vocal major, though it did not take long for him to opt out of the program, and since then his fellow students have certainly reaped the benefits of his presence in LU’s theater department.
You may have seen this week’s featured artist in a number of works here at Lawrence, including very visible roles in “The Knight from Olmedo” and “Smash,” but as talented of an actor as he may be, Peter finds his true calling backstage.
When asked about his preference for directing, Welch explained, “I enjoy acting, but it isn’t something I could see myself doing for very long. My love of directing has to do with its dual role: on one hand a director is an artist who shapes a play, while on the other hand a director is an educator who can use drama as a vessel for knowledge.”
This term Peter is directing a production of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh’s work “The Pillowman.” Said Welch, “The Pillowman first caught my attention while studying in Ireland at the Gaiety School of Acting … [the work] itself is not explicitly about Ireland, but it is colored with a dark comedy that is not totally obvious to American audiences.”
The show goes up March 5 and continues nightly through March 8. Also, it will incorporate large puppets – just one more reason to attend.
And where does one go after so much success at Lawrence? After graduation in June, Peter and his fiancee Brianna, also a theater major, will be heading off to study “Theatre! More Theatre!” – more specifically directing or theater history and criticism – at an as-yet-unknown grad school.

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