WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., July 12, 2016 — “Art is very important. I think it brings peace to the world,” stated rising junior Destiny Walsh, a theater major who is focused on building a career as she earns her college degree.
Walsh came to WLU at the age of 17, after graduating from nearby Brooke High School at 16, thanks to an accelerated program of study. She began as a pre-law student but shifted to theater after her first semester once she learned that entertaining is her passion.
“I took part in theater in high school, directed a play and was on the stage too. I also was on the debate team. I like performance but I like the technical aspect of art as well. I’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes,” Walsh said. “If you can act, you can do anything in the world.”
This summer she’s an intern for Hilltop Players Technical Director Meta Lasch. She and fellow theater major and intern Chris Rees of Follansbee, W.Va., have been cleaning up and renovating the theater after a busy academic and performance season. Lasch has been the production designer for Kelly Theatre for about 35 years and has seen a lot of students come and go.
“Destiny is wonderful, she has a great GPA but still finds time to puts time in the theater where she is an actor, stage manager, technician and work-study. She is responsible and does it all, without hesitation,” said Lasch.
Originally from Wellsburg, she lives off-campus at the Fowler Apartments. Walsh is putting in about 25 hours a week at Kelly Theatre this summer, getting the stage ready for the 2016 – 2017 school year. The interns also are organizing the extensive stage prop and costuming shop, which recently received a massive donation of fabric.
Walsh also works an additional 25 hours a week off campus, at Domino’s Pizza.
Walsh works hard because she is focused on furthering her theater career in graduate school and would love to do that at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. But she’s glad to be a Hilltopper at the moment.
“I came to West Liberty because I grew up nearby. I visited here in high school and immediately liked the theatre program, it felt like a family,” she added.
Walsh is from a big family so that means a lot to her. Yet she is a strong individual who exudes confidence and sense of self.
“I sort of discovered my confidence through theater. In theater you act like so many different characters, you have to develop your sense of self, so you don’t loose yourself amongst the roles you play,” she explained.
Walsh was most recently seen on the stage when she played the role of teenager Tillie Evans in the fantasy play, “She Kills Monsters.” She also played Jesus in last fall’s “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.”
Her next performance is in the upcoming production of “Ramayana, Past in Present,” coming up in August at Kelly Theatre. Written by WLU theater student John Sherwood, the musical epic is having its premiere on the Kelly Theatre stage. Walsh will be the stage manager and will play the role of Mandodari, Queen of Lanka.
“Our program is very small but because of that we (students) have more hands-on time, more individual attention from professors too. I guess it’s good to be small,” she said. Walsh also is a member of the national Stage Managers Association.
The WLU Theatre Program is hands-on and includes set, prop, makeup and costume classes. It is part of the university’s College of Arts and Communication. Students can earn the Bachelor of Science in Communication degree with a specialization in Theatre. Students enjoy many opportunities to succeed on the national level, taking part in the annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre program and others.
The Hilltop Players typically produce four to five main stage productions a year with additional opportunities for students to participate in other community events. For complete information on theater, please contact Lasch at 304-336-8102.