Passion and determination would be understatements when trying to describe Gretchen Mahkorn. With an outgoing personality, a light sense of humor and a bright vision about the arts for her generation, it’s clear that great things lie ahead for this theatre student. As she humbly tells her story to me, a smile never strayed from her face.
Gretchen has been involved in the performing arts since she was a child. She began her performing arts career at the First Stage Theater Academy and was very involved in the Pius XI High School theatre program.
She chose to attend the Peck School of the Arts because UWM is located within a “vibrant” performing arts culture. “The faculty and staff are very involved and connected in the professional theatre community here, as well as nationally, in places like Chicago and New York. The faculty have always been very open to what I need as a student to have a successful career.” She will be graduating in May of 2014 with a BFA in Acting.
Closer to home, Gretchen will be playing the role of Cecile in the play Les Liaisons Dangereuses that will be performed in UWM’s Mainstage Theatre from November 20th- 24th. She also is the fight choreographer for the small sword duel at the end of the performance. “It’s interesting to play this young, naïve, curious girl Cecile who has this arch transformation during the show. I also enjoy being able to use my talents I learned outside of UWM as the fight choreographer.”
After graduation, Gretchen anticipates attending grad school and hopes to keep up with The World Stage Theatre Company. She wants to continue to be a “perpetual learner” and aspires to stay involved in the Milwaukee theatre setting. “Milwaukee will always be my home, but I still want to travel and see the world.”
When she was asked to leave some words of wisdom for the students in the Peck School of the Arts, she responded, “Take risks, and I love this quote from Samuel Beckett. –“Fail Better.””
By Andrew Klain, Peck School of the Arts Marketing Intern / Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies Major Fall 2014.