Temple Theaters student stars in Arden's acclaimed Parade
Sophomore theater major Kathryn Brunner, from Hatboro, Pennsylvania, has spent most of her fall semester off campus in another theater - at the Arden Theatre Company working on their production of Parade by Alfred Uhry and Jason Robery Brown. Brunner was cast in this emotional musical show just before the start of the academic year. She was asked by Matt Decker, the Aden's artistic director to audition for the role of Mary Phagan, the teen whose murder precipitates the events of the musical. Brunner recalls, "I was cast in Parade about a week before classes started for this current semester. I knew little to nothing about Parade before I was called in to audition…I did some intense last minute research! My audition was an amazing experience, and I found out I got the part the next day! I was thrilled!" But Brunner has had to juggle her full-time course load, the production, and being a Resident Assistant in the new Morgan Hall. It hasn't been easy. She says, "I could not thank [Professor] Peter Reynolds [head of the musical theater concentration] enough for helping me figure out how to balance rehearsals and the show along with classes. [It] has definitely been a challenge, but it has taught me a lot about myself. I have grown more personally and professionally in the past two months than I have in a very long time. " [caption id="attachment_412" align="alignright" width="300"]
Kathryn Brunner as 'Mary Phagan' in PARADE at the Arden Theatre Company[/caption] The experience has been very rewarding for Brunner. "I could go on forever about what I've learned at the Arden. I feel like everyday I'm there is a masterclass, where I get to watch and learn from the some of the most creative and talented people I've ever encountered. I have also learned that being professional, kind, and humble is so important in this business." She credit the people as being the biggest factor in the success of the show. "The thing I have enjoyed the most about working at the Arden is all the people I get to be around everyday. With a show as heavy as Parade, you need a cast that is behind to 110% and is willing to get you through the rough days." Although she's only nineteen, Brunner isn't new to performing. As a child and teen she performed at Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theater, KidzTheater and American Girl Place Theater in New York City. Temple University was Brunner's top choice for continuing her theater training. She recalls, "When I visited the campus, I instantly fell in love. It might sound cliche, but I finally felt that I found a home within Temple. I loved the campus city feel, and the people were so warm and welcoming." As a freshman she was casted as the lead in last fall's Spring Awakening at Temple Theaters. "[But] I am [most] proud of Parade; everything has come together so seamlessly. The visual, musical, and performance aspects are wonderful. The people are even more wonderful and supportive."