Name: Danae McQueen '10
If you are attending graduate school, please provide that information including your major:
I am currently in my first year of study at UC San Diego pursuing my MFA in Costume Design.
City where you currently reside: La Jolla, CA
Briefly describe your current job responsibilities:
As a first year student in a very intimate design program, I have already been given the opportunity to assist on two mainstage productions, The Grapes of Wrath and She Stoops to Conquer. Also, Judy Dolan, the head of the program, is in residency at the Alley Theatre this year, so I was able to go to Houston and assist on their production of Freud's Last Session as well as attend fittings for the World Premiere of Theresa Rebeck's Fool. I'm currently in preliminary stages for my first UCSD design, Battlecruiser Aristotle by David Jacobi, a part of the Wagner New Play Festival. Next year I'll have a residency with the La Jolla Playhouse, located on UCSD campus.
While a student at BW, what experiences outside the classroom did you participate in (on or off campus)? Ex: Honors Program*, internships, independent research or other research projects, student teaching, fellowships and other leadership initiatives?
Being a theatre major at Baldwin Wallace can be like a full-time job, especially during my junior and senior years when I was the Costume Shop foreman. Aside from classes and working in the shop, I also interned at Great Lakes Theater (which led to a summer assistantship at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival) and designed a number of one-acts as well as completing my thesis project, Blood Wedding for which I won an Ovation award.
Who was your faculty mentor in the department and how did this professor help you while you were a student and afterwards?
There is no way that I would be where I am today, professionally or personally, without the mentorship of Charlotte Yetman. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when started at BW as a freshman, but for some reason, she saw something in me. She pushed me harder and asked more of me than I thought possible. But when I graduated from college, I was prepared to enter the profession with a great deal more experience than my peers from other undergraduate schools. I worked as the assistant designer for the Delaware REP for two years, and then pursued freelance design for a year before applying to graduate school. Charlotte continues to be a sounding board for many of my professional and educational pursuits.
What makes the BW Theatre and Dance department special?
Baldwin Wallace was my first creative home. I have a number of those now, but the faculty and my fellow students at BW asked me to collaborate and take risks and try new things before anyone else did. We didn't compete with one another - it was a safe space where we could push to be better, through failures and success.
What advice would you give to a prospective student interested in theatre or dance?
Give and take help graciously. And, more importantly, ask for help when you need it. It's easy to get swallowed up in this world and people are only going to drag you out of the depths if you ask them to. And, a lesson that I have learned recently - no one is too illustrious or too important to pay attention to your work, if it's good. You'd be surprised what taking a risk might get you.
How did BW prepare you for graduate school/employment?
I think I've answered this question specifically in terms of theatre above, but I'll add that Baldwin Wallace really gave me the gift of personal growth and a well rounded liberal arts education. I knew I wanted to major in theatre, but I perused Religious Studies, German, Music, Studio Art, and Art History... in four years no one ever told me I had to fit a mold. As theatre artists, we should be aware of and reflect the world around us; BW gave me the opportunity to do so in a way no BFA program ever would. This is a profound advantage, and one that is often overlooked.
Other info/thoughts you’d like to share: Shameless plug - Check out my website at danaeirismcqueen.weebly.com