Posting Date: July 20, 2011
Meet Josh Brook: A love for theater and history
By Jessica Linnell Price
Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant
Josh Brook didn’t always want to be an actor. In high school, his friend took him to see Neil Simon’s “Rumors.” “I thought it was hilarious,” Josh recalls. He also thought it looked like great fun. That year, he auditioned for his first play. Not even knowing what a monologue was, he memorized four lines from Shakespeare and made it “as big and over the top” as he could. His audition got laughs from the audience and a part in the play.
When considering which university to attend, Josh was impressed with Kennesaw State University's pictures of past productions. He says once he started in the Department of Theatre, Performance Studies & Dance he was “blown away.” “Kennesaw State is the best place to be,” Josh says, touting its proximity to Atlanta, dedicated and professional staff and talented students.
“All of the professors have had a really big impact on me,” he says. As a student in Associate Professor Harrison Long’s acting class, Josh had a major breakthrough in learning to relax on stage and to relax his voice while acting.
“Josh is a born leader,” Long says. “At the same time, he can be very humble.” Josh is working with Long as an assistant director on the upcoming KSU production of “Splittin’ the Raft,” this fall. “He makes quirky, fun and creative choices, which makes him fun to watch on stage,” Long says. He also says he has seen Josh perform “some powerful dramatic work” and that “he'll take any amount of pushing you give him.”
Now a junior at KSU, Josh is a double major in theater with a musical theatre concentration and history with a concentration in American history. He’s always been fascinated with cause-and-effect relationships in history, and he’s carried this curiosity into theater. He loves studying why a character behaves a certain way. For this reason, he is also very interested in dramaturgy, which he sees as somewhat of a bridge between history and acting.
Josh has performed in numerous productions at KSU, including “New Works and Ideas” two years in a row. He was cast in the ensemble and learned to eat fire in “Annie Get Your Gun.” His role as an Italian lover in “Melancholy Play” earned him a nomination for the American College Theater Festival, and he had his first musical solo in “Side by Side by Sondheim” in March.
In the years ahead, Josh looks forward to performing for Buckhead Church in Atlanta in “Kids Stuff,” his first professional job. He is also excited about working on “Splittin’ the Raft,” getting more involved in improv and working to become a stronger singer.
Josh wants to take his acting and directing to Atlanta after graduation. He hopes his reputation for being a dedicated worker and performer will make him someone people call on to fill roles. If not acting full-time, he says teaching history is something he could see himself doing. “I’m going to place my faith in God that my future will move someplace he wants me to be.”