Freshman Selected to Prestigious Fulbright Program
Department: Theatre & Dance
Kayla Walsh, a musical theatre major who recently completed her first year at Otterbein University, has received a place on the Fulbright Summer Institute to study at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in the United Kingdom this summer, June 14-July 6.
This three-week program, which is one of the most prestigious and selective summer programs operating worldwide, focuses on acting and understanding Shakespeare text as well as other aspects of Shakespeare theatre such as design, dance and sword-play. Walsh will be learning from the world’s experts in all things Shakespeare, and she said she is “absolutely thrilled.”
Through this experience, Walsh said she hopes to not only learn how to be a better performer, but how to be a better colleague as well. “This trip is all about working with different individuals from different countries and backgrounds. I’m so thankful that I was chosen as one of the three recipients that I just want to soak it all in and retain as much information as I possibly can in the three weeks,” she said.
The US-UK Fulbright Commission selects participants through a rigorous application and interview process. In making these awards, the Commission looks not only for academic excellence but a focused application, a range of extracurricular and community activities, demonstrated ambassadorial skills, a desire to further the Fulbright Program and a plan to give back to the recipient’s home country upon returning.
“I really hope to bring back a better knowledge of Shakespeare and be able to apply what I’ve learned to my performance classes (at Otterbein),” Walsh said. “I’m also a teacher at a local children’s theatre in my hometown, so I would like to apply what I learn this summer into my teachings there and set up a year-long Shakespeare intensive for the kids.”
During her three weeks in the UK, Walsh will have the opportunity to tour London’s historical sites, as well as work at the Globe Theatre, taking workshops and master classes that focus on Shakespeare and performing. Walsh said she will study three of Shakespeare’s works: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew. She will see performances, talk with cast members and complete assignments about each of the productions.
Walsh, who said she had always been an overly-dramatic little girl, has been performing for 12 years and said it has been her dream to perform internationally and work at the Globe Theatre. “Maybe this scholarship will give me a job opportunity in the future, which would be a dream come true,” she said. “In all honesty, I just want to continually be growing in my craft, and take in as much information as I possibly can to get the most out of this brilliant learning experience.”