Alana Horton '14 (Northampton, Mass.) arrived at Macalester considering majors in Arabic, studio art, and international studies. Through a formative first-year course, though, she quickly found herself immersed in Macalester's theater department—and the Twin Cities theater community, thanks to a syllabus that sent Horton and her classmates to eight theater productions in Minneapolis and St. Paul in one semester. "It was an incredible way to understand what was going on in the [Twin Cities], which has totally shaped the way I've approached my education and what I want to do when I leave Macalester," says Horton, who will graduate in May with an English and theater double major.
In addition to easy access to productions off campus, Macalester's location fosters collaborations with guest directors and opportunities to connect with a welcoming, vibrant professional network. "More and more, I've been able to work both in the Macalester theater program and off campus," says Horton, who landed a job at St. Paul's Bedlam Theatre after connecting with executive director John Bueche when he was on campus to help with a recent production's set design.
The department's curriculum, professors and guest directors, and opportunities in the Twin Cities has shaped Horton's perspective and set the foundation for her career. "I look at myself as a high school student and now, and I feel like it's a new way of seeing the world," Horton says. "[Theater has] become my major, my passion, and hopefully what I'm going to do for the rest of my life."