Madilynn Loats
Mason City, Iowa
Madilynn Loats

Curtain call

As a high school student, Maddie attended Northwestern’s Theatre Camp—an experience that convinced her to apply to and attend NWC. She is a member of the college’s Drama Ministries Ensemble and has worked with several children’s and spring productions. In addition to majoring in theatre, she is minoring in public relations.

Born to perform
I was involved in a local children’s theatre back in my hometown—and all the artsy things like speech, choir and band. I chose to be a theatre major because performing and being able to help backstage as a stage manager is what I love to do. Theatre helped me come out of my bubble when I was a kid, and now it’s helping me develop and grow in my leadership skills. Theatre is what I’m passionate about, and I couldn’t imagine doing or studying anything else.

Northwestern’s Theatre Camp is one of my favorite memories from high school! It was a sneak peek into what the theatre department is like. I got to know the professors and students, because some current theatre students were our camp counselors for the week. The experience made coming to college a little less scary because I already knew the faculty—as well as some students who participated in Theatre Camp and are also attending Northwestern now.

At home on stage
I love how everyone in the department is one big family and how accepting everyone is. I don’t think I’ve met a more encouraging and loving department than this one, because everyone wants to see everyone succeed. If you watch the video on the theatre department’s home page, my friend says, “This is home”—and that’s true, because you’re surrounded by people who will encourage and help you out in any way they can. I love that I’m able to have both serious and silly conversations with the friends I’ve made.

Faithful theatre
At Northwestern, our theatre professors integrate faith with what we’re learning in so many ways! For example, we always pray before a show on opening night and after we strike the set. Students are also asked to create an individual “Kingdom Artist Statement.” I really enjoyed writing mine because it helped me reflect on how I’ve grown in my education, theatre capabilities and faith. We talk a lot about being a Kingdom Artist and how we do everything “To the King”—which is something casts say before every show. That three-word phrase helps me focus on why I do what I do and how my art glorifies God. I never connected those two ideas before I came to Northwestern.

Winning role
Because of Northwestern’s size, I get the opportunity to learn all aspects of design—from sound to costumes to everything in between. My favorite memory so far was being the stage manager for “Charlotte’s Web.” It was my first leadership position in the theatre department, and I made some of the most amazing friendships by being a part of the show. That experience also showed me that I’m capable of so much more than I thought. If you had told me when I was a high school senior that two years later, I would put a show together in four weeks, I would have said you’re crazy. Being a stage manager is so much fun because you get to work closely with a theatre professor, helping them with a show from start to finish.