Meet Andrew Crigler: A life of performanceBy Gina Gareri-Watkins
Andrew Crigler, a theatre and performance studies major at Kennesaw State University, chose acting as his concentration, and it’s no surprise to those who know his history. Andrew has found success in both traditional theater and individual settings. Andrew was home schooled from second grade through high school, and it was at age ten when he found his calling in a mime class. “That was my introduction to the performing arts,” explains Andrew. “That’s how I started. The class led to dance, which led to community theater, which led to here.”
Andrew didn’t have to travel far to pursue his acting and educational opportunities, as KSU is only 15 minutes from his door, and Atlanta theater is just a short car ride away. He is currently a performer at Six Flags Over Georgia and a summer intern at Georgia Ensemble Theatre in Roswell. Andrew has also spent summers as a professional actor with Student Life Productions, and has been on both sides of the stage lights at Theatre on Main in Acworth.
Andrew is impressed by the personal attention and familial setting of KSU’s theater department. “The theater program is just so strong and the faculty members are doing so much. They really love theater and the department, and there’s just a fantastic chemistry. I don’t know how I could get a stronger foundation anywhere else.”
Andrew doesn’t hesitate in identifying a favorite class. “That would be Acting II with Harrison Long. There’s so much work that goes into the class and so much work outside of the class as well. You’re rehearsing 10, 12 hours a week on top of going to class and writing the papers. The class makes you buckle down and work, and I really applied as much as I could from it. Long always gives you great feedback. He really does want the students to learn, and he will do what it takes to help you.”
Andrew finds Kennesaw’s dance program another asset. A dance minor, Andrew first got involved with KSU’s dance program when he was cast in the 2008 KSU performance of “Incubus.” He finds that his dance experiences are a perfect addition to acting. “I still have two more courses to complete my minor, so I really want to take choreography and dance history.”
He frequently collaborates with fellow students in both on- and off-campus productions. He appeared in the March 2009 premier performance of “rEVOLUTIO: Children of an Idle Brain” at Theatre in the Square’s Alley Stage theater in Marietta. He also tours local schools and story festivals with the KSU Tellers storytelling company, a group that earns praise from its professional peers. “The emphasis is going to other places and performing,” says Andrew. “Each year we also have a poetry performance and a storytelling slam.”
Andrew was recently cast in the ensemble for the 2009-2010 main stage production of William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors.” Rehearsals start this summer for the fall production, adding to Andrew’s already crowded summer docket. “It has such an amazing cast. It’s going to be fantastic.” Andrew performed in last year’s production of “The Robber Bridegroom” and during the KSU “New Works and Ideas” festival, and appeared on stage as Phlacidos in “Lysistrata,” a favorite part of Andrew’s “because I got to do a lot of stunts.” Andrew is also a core member of KISS, “Kennesaw’s Improv Society . . . Stupid,” and has appeared in the sold-out performances of “The Rites of Spring,” “Christmas with KISS” and “Improv Hoopa Palooza.”
In addition to managing a full professional and academic course load, Andrew is also vice president of KSU’s theater honor society, Alpha Psi Omega, as well as a recent addition to the academic honor society, Delta Epsilon Iota, and this year’s KSU Southern Order of Storyteller’s scholarship winner.
“Every semester I think I couldn’t possibly get busier, but I always seem to find a way to do so. Every time I add something, I just have to buckle down and do it. I learn how to organize myself very well. Everything seems to working out so far.”