Student Profile: Elizabeth Neidel
By Teresa Bagwell
When Elizabeth Neidel’s parents enrolled her in gymnastics at age three and dance at age four, they set in motion a fiery ball of passion for performing arts. Now a senior theatre and performing arts major and dance minor, she resonates with energy and excitement for her chosen fields. While acting the part of Shelby in “Steel Magnolia” during a high school play, she felt the calling: “There I was on stage, in the moment, and I realized I was affecting the audience. . .[stirring their] emotions, making them cry. That’s what makes theater so powerful.”
Neidel expresses equal enthusiasm for the College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University, speaking proudly about the new dance minor program (now in its second year). “It has opened doors to music and theater majors who never thought they’d take a dance class. It is so important for anyone in performing arts to taste everything. It helps you on stage to be more comfortable with yourself, to take more risks as an actor.”
She also praises Kennesaw State’s faculty, emphasizing their connections in the Atlanta performance community. “Through various professors, we have strong ties to Dad’s Garage, the Alliance Theatre and the Georgia Shakespeare Festival. They [the professors] are very helpful with referrals, internships, auditions, applying for graduate school”—ways to jump-start careers.
Taking advantage of every opportunity to perform, Neidel stays insanely busy. Since coming to Kennesaw State three years ago, she has participated in fourteen productions (including two musicals for Dad’s Garage), won the 2006 Miss Cherokee pageant, performed at the Kennedy Center’s American College Dance Festival and Theater Festival for two years, and traveled to Shanghai, China with the KSU production of “Monkey King.”
Based on her many successes thus far, Neidel’s schedule won’t slow down anytime soon. You can catch a glimpse of her by stopping by Dad’s Garage for its current musical, “Reefer Magazine,” and watch for her in the KSU Dance Company performances (“Forty-two Feet off the Ground”) later this year.