Theater is not just about filling the part according Kiersten Zundel, a sophomore theater major; it is about connecting with the character, the cast and performing the best show for the audience. Zundel first started her career in elementary school when she landed the role of Ariel and fell in love with theater.
“I actually don’ t remember a specific time in my life that exactly hooked me,” said Zundel. “I grew up knowing that I loved performing.”
Since her first role, she has played major and minor roles in various plays and musicals such as “Annie Get Your Gun”, “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, “Once on this Island”, “Peter Pan”, “The Giver”, “How to Succeed in Business”, “9 to 5”, “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “Trojan Women”. She also competed in the Shakespeare Competition for high school students in Cedar City and other Utah State theater competitions. Zundel’ s favorite character to portray was Roz in UVU’ s production of 9 to 5.
“I actually really enjoyed playing the part of Roz. She’ s a very ‘ straight to the point’ type of character,” said Zundel. “I had the best time because I was able to share that with an amazing cast and crew who all worked really hard.”
With over ten years of experience, Zundel has learned that every day in the theater world is a new adventure with new experiences, people and connections.
“Theatre is never the same. You could play one role one hundred times, and it will never be exactly the same as the last time,” said Zundel “You never want to recreate your last performance. Every show, monologue, and song should be new and honest. You portray a story to an audience. You connect with other characters onstage. Every reaction is new and authentic. That feeling of a new discovery is one of the best you can ever experience.”
One of her favorite things about studying at UVU is the fact that her degree pushes her to do her best every day. Theater, according to Zundel, is not just about raw talent; it’ s about hard work and skills that the UVU theater department teaches her.
“The important piece to it all, though, is the continuance of learning in whatever way that may be possible,” said Zundel. “Theatre has never been all about raw, natural talent.Theatre is 80% putting in the work. For me, higher education is a piece of putting in the work.”
After graduation, Zundel would like to work at regional theaters and pursue a Master of Fine Arts. She’ s grateful for the theater program at UVU that has pushed her to step beyond what is usually comfortable for her.
“Once we are graduated with this degree, we are meant to perform professionally. That’ s slightly scary because performance isn’ t as secure of a career choice,” said Zundel. “But, I’ ve had to discover that I’ m not going for something “secure.” I’ m pursuing a career in a field that I love. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program has pushed me to new heights so far out of my comfort zone. I’ m getting experiences of what the actual professional world will consist of.”