Theater arts graduates take center stage today
will graduate from Western Connecticut State University
today with a B.A. in theater arts design and technology.
He is among the first graduates of the university's new
School of Visual and Performing Arts.
DANBURY -- Tyler Donahue
entered WestConn as a media major four years ago. But when he
took a technical theater class with professor Frank Herbert, he
became hooked on the theater. The 21-year-old New Milford
resident soon began working on university theater productions in
Scotland, Ecuador and Phoenix, Ariz.
Today he earns his bachelor's degree in theater arts from
Western Connecticut State University, the first year art, music
and theater arts operate as the School of Visual and Performing
Arts. Donahue is among 12 theater arts students graduating this
month. There are about 65 students in the department, which
broke away from the communication arts department three years
ago. He's among 850 students who earned undergraduate diplomas
this year. About 650 are expected to attend the commencement
ceremony on the university's westside campus.
The university's first separate graduate degree commencement
ceremony was held Friday, with about 100 students in attendance.
In the past, graduate students had their commencement with
the undergraduates. Donahue hopes to get a job as a shop
carpenter with a regional theater and make his way to New York
City in a set design shop in the next five years. "It's just one
of the most exciting things I've ever experienced -- putting up
a show and having people enjoy it, experience it, and let it
sink in as a piece of art."
WestConn also gave him a $500 award, called the Clarke Dunham
Theatre Design Award. Donahue won the award because of his
design and set construction for the theater department's
productions of "Pirates of Penzance" and "Trial by Jury" this
spring. He also designed the set for WestConn's off-Broadway
production of "Iphigenia," which the students produced and will
perform at the 45th Street Theater in New York City on Thursday,
Friday, and Saturday.
Herbert praised Donahue as being competent as an actor and
technical designer. "He has the aptitude and the attitude for
solving the problems in his craft," Herbert said. "He was my
first intern technical director. He's done everything we have to
do here from sewing fabric to welding steel tubing."
Department chairman Sal Trapani said Donahue took advantage
of the program to travel and expand his skills. "He's an
excellent student -- very, very conscientious. He got the most
out of what classes offered. He really blossomed," Trapani said.
Contact Eileen FitzGerald at
or at (203) 731-3333.