Living a life in the theater

By Erika Moreno / Delta Staff Writer

Not many people follow through on their childhood dream, but one Missouri Valley College student is working every day to achieve a goal she set when she was just 10 years old. 

Makayla Rodgers, a 21-year-old theater major from Imperial, Missouri, believes she has to do what fulfills her in order to love what she is doing as a career. 

Rodgers came to Missouri Valley College because she knew that she wanted a small school setting. She really enjoys the sense of community that it’s given her and the opportunity to work in all facets of theater other than just acting because when she is off stage she is often helping design costumes and build them. She has also stage managed shows. 

“I think it really helps me feel good about what I’m going to do after college because it’s made me a more well rounded theater person,” Rodgers said. 

Although she studies theater, Rodgers said she was initially inspired by the acting she saw on television as a child.

“I feel like I was always very inspired by television,” she said. “And I know that physical theater and TV acting are very different things, but I knew that I enjoyed watching plays and TV and movies so much and I thought that I wanted to be involved in something that could make other people feel that way.”

She got involved in plays at her church and then from there she started working in plays in middle school through high school.

“It only seems like the logical choice for me to continue on this path because it’s one of the only things that I feel that fuels me,” Rodgers said. “It really just satisfies that little place in my heart that I feel is very important to follow.”

Rodgers is still having trouble deciding on what she still wants to do after she graduates. On the one hand she is in school to be an actor, but her time in college has opened her eyes to other possibilities. 

“Being in this smaller school has given me so many resources to do other parts of theater,” she said. 

Ideally she would like to act but she also wouldn’t be opposed to work behind the scenes or in costume shops. All she knows is that she wants to be involved in theater in some way once she graduates. 

Rodgers knows for sure that even if she is working in theater she would still want to have another job to make sure she is stable in between seasons of shows. However, she also wants this job to be something creative and exciting. 

“I just don’t see myself being the kind of person to have like a regular 9 to 5 job because I want to do something that really fulfills me,” she said. 

Rodgers worked as a production assistant at the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre this past winter when the Lyceum was featuring “A Christmas Carol.”

“That was a lot of fun because they are a professional theater and a lot of the people that they hire have a lot of theater equity which like our little union, which I am not a part  of yet, but it was really nice to get that experience to work in a professional theater so that I can see what it’s like and what it takes to be a professional outside of college,” Rodgers said.

Jay Rozema, the chair of the Fine Arts Department at Missouri Valley College, said that he would describe Rodgers as a real generalist because she likes performing but she also writes, directs and she does technical work both in the costume shop and in the scene shop.

Harold Hynick is her theater teacher.

“She is really dedicated and hardworking and I think she pushes herself to excellence,”  he said. “Students come in here as a freshman and they’ve got goals and anxiety and dreams and their is a lot of work that they have to do in self confidence and just thinking about tackling a role like this in her senior year and several things. It’s not just this role you know her play writing and you know she’ll be here next year directing her second show so there’s been so much growth and to see somebody come in with a lot of potential and to work through it and realize that potential and beyond it’s like you just go ‘wow’ it’s a treat to be a part of that.”

Rodgers is very excited for what’s to come and next on her calendar is to direct her senior show. 

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