Posting Date: February 19, 2014
Meet Avery Sharpe: Theatre for a Change
By Kelsey Medlin
Photo by Shane McDonald
With a smile that goes on for days, Avery Sharpe is a unique theatre and performance studies major with a concentration in acting. His positivity radiates off of him and out to others throughout Kennesaw State’s Department of Theatre & Performance Studies, but Avery was not always this vibrant thespian and lover of the arts.
In high school, he says he was a “super jock” before a girl told him that boys were needed for the school musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Curiosity got the best of him, and he auditioned and received a part. He discovered that theatre was “collaborative, fun and freeing” and exactly what he wanted to do.
Since then, Avery has grown so much at KSU, not only as an actor but also as a human being. “I’ve learned that if you work hard, trust yourself and your work in all aspects of life, you can make yourself a better person and enlighten others,” he says. Professor, Interim Chair and Coordinator of Internships Karen Robinson says, “It is so exciting to see him grow into this incredible and wonderful combination of talented and gifted actor. His presence is charismatic, really smart and insightful, plus he is such a genuinely and authentically warm person.”
When Robinson first met Avery at the auditions for “Fences” in the spring of 2010, she remembers noticing Avery’s “inherent charm that comes out in his manner and way of engaging with people.” Despite only being in his second semester of freshman year, she saw that there “was a sense of self possession that was more mature than his years.” Avery has been a part of every production she has directed on campus ever since.
Beginning the rehearsal process of “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage this semester, Avery is eager to see where this production will lead. He connects deeply with his character, Christian, in the very last scene of the show. “He has the fortitude, the discipline and the humility to be able to love the woman in the scene,” Avery says, “despite her faults and the things that happened.” Avery believes that “love like that is what we are all looking for and there should be more of that.”
Through the course of these past years at KSU, Avery has grown and discovered a passion and ideology for what he believes theatre is. He says, “It has changed my life and can be used to change others’ lives.” After graduation, Avery wants to stay in Atlanta for a while before traveling to Chicago or New York to work. His biggest goal, though, is to one day bring theatre and its techniques to Latin communities, perhaps in South America. He says their warmth and attention to family are something he desires, and he would like to see theatre make a difference in those communities as it has for him.