Building experience, forging connections
Brent Irwin came to Birmingham-Southern College as an aspiring
student actor, but you’ll find him in a very different role this fall.
For his senior capstone project, Irwin is directing
Four by Tenn
short one-act plays by Tennessee Williams. As the first student to
direct a Mainstage production, he is casting the actors, leading them
as they develop their roles, working with designers and technicians,
and then writing about the experience. It’s all part of a collaborative
research project with eatre Prof. Alan Litsey under BSC’s rise3
program for experiential learning.
At the same time, Irwin’s also working as a Distinguished Teaching
Fellow for Prof. Michael Flowers’ Intermediate Acting class this
fall. He’ll lead class on some days, come up with lesson plans, and
critique scenes—all great practice for his dream of teaching theatre
after graduation. Internships he has completed, including one at the
Blackberry Little eatre, a nonprofit children’s theatre in Decatur,
Ala., have also helped him prepare for the future.
But it’s not just the experience that’s been valuable, Irwin says. It’s
the relationships he’s building with BSC faculty.
“I’m doing collaborative work with both of them and that’s
something very special,” he said. “I drop into each of their offices at
least once a week and just talk about how school’s going and how
life’s going. I like that a lot.”
Irwin in a scene from the 2011-12 season’s