Class of 2019: Ben Michaels

McDaniel College senior Ben Michaels
April 23, 2019

Ben Michaels, from Lakeville, Minnesota, is a Theatre Arts major.

When I took my first step on the Hill, I was: an ambitious student seeking new experiences.

The me who will ring the Old Main bell on Commencement Day is: an adult who has learned a lot and ready to put his education to use in whatever work he finds himself doing.

Aha moment: Finding out that there is a dragon hidden on campus.

Footprints I’m leaving on the Hill: Showing everyone that you can do anything even if people say you can’t.

Professor who most influenced who I have become: Gené Fouché. Gené has influenced the way I have become because she has shown me the many different ways theatre can be used in everyday life and in different jobs that people would never expect to be related. Whether it is through improvisation or a script, theatre influences almost everything people do.

Best class ever: Theatre Improvisation because the class was not only fun, but I learned that life in general is all improvised and hardly ever scripted/scheduled/planned and the class helped ease the anxiety of improvisation.

Took me totally by surprise: The passion that all of the professors that I have had have about teaching students on their specific subject.

My favorite spot on campus: The balcony of the main stage in the theatre because I find it a calming and relaxing place to just sit and think.

Most mind-boggling idea I learned at McDaniel: That people from Maryland put Old Bay on almost everything.

Real world experiences: The study abroad opportunity that I took part in was going to Ireland and England with the Theatre department. I would definitely go back to England and Ireland because I was able to learn so much about “non-western” theatre and I was able to build friendships with the other students who went on the trip. One of the things I took away from this trip is that no matter where in the world people go there is always good theatre to be seen.

My capstone: A Sketch Comedy Show, much like Saturday Night Live.

What it is about: Everyone who performed in the show did everything for the show. For example, someone who was acting in the show has written at least one sketch that is in the show, all of the designers for the show were students, and even some students directed some of the sketches.

What it’s really about: My capstone is about students collaborating with each other and creating a show that is student written, designed, acted and even partially directed.

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