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Graduates in the Spotlight : 2019 Graduates in the Spotlight

Jillian Caillouette

image of Jillian CaillouetteHOMETOWN: Meriden, Connecticut

MAJOR: Musical Theatre

WCSU DEGREE: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre

ACTIVITIES: Certified yoga teacher. “This past summer I trained at Yoga Culture in Danbury, where I completed my 200-hour teacher training certification in the style of Aligned Vinyasa. I now teach every week through the WCSU recreation department and once a month for the dance club Eversion, where I plan a themed class. I have planned yoga events such as Spooky Yoga Spectacular, Karma Yoga For The Holidays and most recently, Yoga for Self-Love and Care, which was a live music event with WCSU musicians. Every class I teach means so much to me and I love seeing students leaving class feeling energized, yet grounded. When I’m not performing I love to go hiking, learn about ways to produce minimal waste to protect the environment, and write and record original music.”

 

INTERNSHIPS: Interned at a mindfulness, meditation retreat center in West Hartford called The Copper Beech Institute, where she learned how to become a more mindful, conscious and spiritual individual. “I am beyond grateful for this internship because I now have the tools to help those around me, especially my fellow theatre performers, stay healthy and mindful in an industry that can be stressful and often times challenging.”

HONORS AND AWARDS: Dean’s List every semester, 3.87 GPA, recipient of Young Centennial Theatre Arts Scholarship and the Susan B. and Henry G. Tritter Theatre Scholarship, Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival

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Jillian Caillouette started her college journey at Central Connecticut State University for a semester while she was figuring out what she wanted to major in and what school would be the best fit for her.

“I decided to major in musical theatre because it has been a passion of mine for my entire life,” she says. “I grew up singing, dancing and acting in a family full of musicians, music teachers and performers. My love of music and performing has been in my heart from birth. I love telling stories and hope to inspire those who see my performances to live life with loving kindness and joy.”

Once her field of study was determined, Caillouette decided to come to WCSU “because of the remarkable community, professors and facilities it has. When I auditioned for the musical theatre program, I instantly felt a sense of warmth and positive energy from the students and faculty. I knew I wanted to go on my college journey at a school with so much heart.”

Caillouette says, “Every single one of my professors in the theatre arts department has become a mentor to me. Most specifically, Tim Howard, Janelle Robinson, Elizabeth Parkinson, Scott Wise, MaryAnn Lamb, Sal Trapani, Liz Popiel, John Hickok, Richard Ercole, Michael Bartoli, Tony Cochrane and Pamela McDaniel have all made an incredible impact on my life as an artist. They have guided me as an artist to believe and trust in my work and to find the heart and truth in everything I do.”

Asked what she will remember most about her WCSU experience, Caillouette says, “One of my most memorable experiences was performing in the musical ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ my sophomore year where I played the role of the 1920s show girl Janet Van De Graaff. This role led me to Washington D.C., where I received the national award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical through The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.”

After graduation, Caillouette says, “My plans for the future include auditioning in hopes of working professionally as a theatre artist, writing and recording original music, and working as a yoga teacher. I hope to bring peace, love and light to the world in everything I do.”

Her advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Breathe and soak up every single moment of your college experience. Believe that miracles can happen and that through hard work and dedication you will find your way. Fully embrace your own unique journey and love yourself and those around you unconditionally. Do everything you can to make this world a better place and to be of service to your community.”