Julia VanDyk ’17
Ames, Iowa


With interests in theatre and writing, Julia is adding a public relations minor to her theatre major. She has also served as a writer and copy editor for the college’s student newspaper, the Beacon; is a writing fellow for Northwestern’s First-Year Seminar; and is a member of the Black V improv troupe. After graduation she wants to direct and run a children’s theatre company.

Keeping good company
When I first started looking at colleges, I knew I wanted a small Christian college in the Midwest. I visited several but ultimately chose Northwestern because I loved the theatre department and the challenging yet manageable academic environment. I visited twice before making my decision to attend, and during my second visit, several people recognized and remembered me. Northwestern felt like a place I absolutely fit. Three years later, I still feel the same way.

To the King
The theatre world is, in many places, not a Christian one. During my time studying here, I’ve really had to wrestle with what it means to be a Christian theatre artist (without being cheesy about it). But I fully believe it is possible to create good art and to produce work as a Christian at a professional level. Northwestern’s focus on dedicating our work in the theatre department “to the King,” while also maintaining high standards, has really shaped me as a person who loves both theatre and the Lord.

Cast and crew
Theatre is so much more than just acting. Actors are important in the theatre, but so are designers, directors, stage managers and box office attendants. At most colleges, you have to pick an area early on and stick with it. Theatre majors at Northwestern get to try a bit of everything, and it’s such a well-rounded experience. But you can also choose to specialize in an area, too (for me, it’s directing). This department has given me more tools than I ever thought I needed to create good art, teach other people and realize that I can absolutely get a “real” job in theatre.

Northwestern has prepared me extremely well for my future. The people here have invested in me, brought me out of my small, intimidated shell, and taught me an incredible amount academically. They’ve also challenged me to think about how I see the world and why, and what that might mean for my future. Northwestern has equipped me with the academic, social and spiritual skills I need to succeed.