Theatre Newsletter | May 2022
As the students of St. Ambrose University are nearing the last few weeks of the semester, some may be contemplating life after college and possible career paths. One alumni, who has actually gone through college twice, has learned a thing or two about finding passions in his life's work.
Aaron Randolph lll '02, '12 from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, came to St. Ambrose for the first time right out of high school. He had his sights set on studying music education and becoming a music teacher in the school setting, but later decided he wanted to teach kids in one-on-one lessons instead. Then, along with his major in music, he also earned a minor in theatre during his first undergraduate adventure.
After graduating in 2002, Randolph spent many years teaching private piano lessons. It was only after he had a family of his own that the night and weekend hours started to affect his life negatively. So in order to solve that problem, he made the decision to go back to college to earn a degree in computer network administration.
While he is currently using his degree at Twin States Technical Services, coming back to college also allowed him a second chance to explore all the elements of theatre again. This led to him to add on an additional major in theatre.
"I did a ton of acting, and I was in a many plays," recalled Randolph. "But I've done almost everything you could do in theatre on the technical side. I've obviously done a lot with sound and music, but I've also helped build sets, worked on stage crew, and was an Assistant Stage Manager to name a few."
Aaron Randolph III
Aaron earned degrees in music education, theatre, and computer network administration.
There is no doubt that Randolph enjoys being involved in the theatre, but he discovered his true passion when he decided to try his hand at being a playwright. Since collaborating with Dr. Corinne Johnson on his first play, The Plagiarists, he has not put down the pen. Randolph has written numerous plays, some of which have been performed here at St. Ambrose University, Augustana College, Circa ‘21, and the QC Theatre Workshop..
Randolph does credit the SAU Theatre Department with a taste of real world theatre experience though.
"St. Ambrose is a professional environment," Randolph explained. "They expect their students to be professionals and they teach their students to get enjoyment out of doing good work. I do theatre because I really take pride in my work and I like having something fantastic to share with an audience."
Randolph does have a hard time picking a favorite production from his undergraduate years, but recently he has been invited back on campus to help out with some productions since he is a sound designing wiz. He is especially proud of SAU's most recent production, Little Women.
"Getting to be involved in this show is probably the most meaningful thing I've done here in this theatre program," he sincerely shared.
It is evident that Randolph's true calling is theatre, so he offers some advice to students who share those same feelings.
"Do as many different things as you can and learn as much as you can about the art," he urged. "Just don't pigeon-hole yourself, and I think that's true with whatever you do in life. Be curious and try lots of different things because you might end up finding out that something really speaks to you."
Aaron Randolph is truly an amazing man, considering all that he has achieved thus far at St. Ambrose and beyond. We have no doubt he will continue to inspire us through his work and continue to demonstrate that it is possible to follow your passions.