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Student discovers passion, pursues career in theatre

By Jack Soukup
On April 6, 2017

Emma Elzinga has been named one of Kirkwood Community College’s 2017 Outstanding Students. 

Although originally from Iowa City, she said wanted to attend Kirkwood’s main campus for college. Elzinga began participating in the Kirkwood Performing Arts department as soon as she started classes last fall. 

Elzinga said she got involved with her high school plays primarily as a way to socialize and soon found a passion for the art of stage managing and theatre altogether. 

Although she is no stranger to the theatre, Elzinga performed on stage for the first time in “Mauritius”, Kirkwood’s spring play. 

“Anything you work on is ‘Only as great as you make it’,” she said, which is her motto and motivation for putting forth her best effort.

Elzinga said she likes to work very hard and put a lot of time into all of her shows, as well as her schoolwork.

    Elzinga said one reason she chose Kirkwood is for its size. “I like that Kirkwood is a somewhat smaller school because it helps to get individual feedback,” she said. 

According to Elzinga, her fondest memory so far with the theatre department was the tech run through for the “The 1940’s Radio Hour” fall performance. She said it was a struggle but when everything came together it felt great. 

She said being named an Outstanding Student was an honor.  “To me it means going all in to whatever you’re doing and being fully devoted,” said Elzinga. 

She added that the theatre faculty have been a great influence on her and have helped her to find her place in school.

After graduation, Elzinga said she plans to transfer to the University of Nebraska in Lincoln because she wants to get her Bachelor of Arts degree in directing and stage management and that is the closest school with a good program for her. 

After she finishes her Bachelor’s degree she said will likely end up working freelance jobs for different theatres until she can find a permanent workplace. 

In her free time Elzinga said she works at Hy-vee in Iowa City and enjoys spending time with her family.

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