Posting Date: August 20, 2012
Meet Blaire Hillman: A dynamic actress with drive
By Alyssa Sellors
Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant
For someone who just “fell into theater,” Blaire Hillman has already made her mark on the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University.
As a freshman in high school, Blaire remembers hearing the curtain speech for the first time while fitting costumes backstage at a performance of "The Sound of Music." It was at that moment she realized her enjoyment for every aspect of theater. Although she got her start in dance, Blaire decided to follow her love for theater instead. After high school, she wanted to find a school with a more intimate environment and close ties to Atlanta. Blaire decided to seek out KSU for their global outlook on theater and connections to Atlanta professionals.
Blaire’s accomplishments at KSU have been far reaching and impressive with many of her performances and collaborations drawing attention from outside professionals and KSU professors. Her work can be seen on and off the stage as she works to create, compose and perform in original and “devised” pieces. Devised theater, also known as collaboration creation, is a form of theater when the script originates from collaborative work, and Blair’s work in this genre of theater has been impressive. One such piece is "Frankenstein’d," directed by KSU Assistant Professor Charles Parrott. This original production was composed entirely by KSU students and performed at the New Works and Ideas festival in May. Blaire also starred in "The Veiling Mists," another original play created by Michael Haverty, artistic associate for the Center of Puppetry Arts, a reaction to Jean Cocteau’s "Eiffel Tower Wedding Party," also performed by KSU’s theatre department.
Blaire discovers inspiration in driven people, particulary KSU Associate Professor Jane Barnette, whom she finds to be “incredibly driven" and a great motivation for students. Blaire should know about being driven—she is already a full time core company member for The Object Group, Inc., created by Michael Haverty.
Getting here would not have been possible if not for help from professors like Barnette and John Gentile, chair of the Deparment of Theatre & Performance Studies, who says, "I first came to know Blaire as an actress and as a person during her summer at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin. She showed great dedication to her work and a real zest to make the most of her summer study abroad in Ireland. Her strong commitment was also evident as a student in my Performing Literature class, in which she excelled, and in the cast of the workshop reading of Red Hanrahan."
Blaire also teaches dance to children at the Jitterbug Performance Arts Summer Camp in addition to being a full time student and member of a professional performance company. Building confidence, especially in children, is important to Blaire and this experience has been one of fulfillment for her. Lindsay Prather, coordinator of the children’s camp, could not agree more. “Blaire goes above and beyond to create magic for the children. Her creativity shines daily while teaching choreography, making props and costumes and helping kids with performances.”
Scheduled to graduate this December, Blaire has valued her time at KSU for many reasons. In class, she feels the smaller and more intimate class sizes allow her to process and grow as an actress. She also makes it a point to audition for everything and be involved in a collaborative environment. After graduation, she hopes to continue performing with The Object Group, Inc., audition for various roles, find an agent and maybe get into commercials and film.