Posting Date: October 30, 2012
Meet Avery Rabbitt: Eyes on the international stage
By Nicholas Hinterhauser
Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant
At the age of 15, Avery Rabbitt knew two things: she loved art and she loved people. A graduate of Forsyth Central High School, she credits her high school theater teacher with being the most influential person in developing her talent prior to attending Kennesaw State University. Avery’s role as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine in her high school’s production of “The Lion in Winter” awarded her with not only State’s Best Actress in a competition, but also a realization of her potential. Avery says that “playing somebody different than me in almost every way allowed me to learn what I was capable of.”
Avery’s capacity for success echoes in the classrooms of Kennesaw State. Currently enrolled in nine classes during her third year at KSU, Avery is a double major in theatre & performance studies and music education, the latter of which she began tackling this year. She boasts on KSU’s teaching methods on dancing, singing, acting and storytelling. “KSU achieves a really nice balance between teaching technical skills and allowing you to be creative, interpreting performances in your own way. The teachers present you with a mold and then encourage you to break it,” Avery says. A testament of the faculty’s faith in Avery’s success, she received an Annual Flourish Scholarship in Theatre this year. Dean Adams, associate professor in the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies, shares, “Avery is a true ‘scholar-artist.’ I’ve worked with her in both classroom and rehearsal settings, and she is always prepared and focused.”
Earlier this year Avery participated in the KSU production of “The Secret Garden.” In addition to participating as a member of the ensemble, she understudied the 9-year-old girl who played Mary, helping her tap into a raw and honest state necessary for acting. From this performance, KSU’s faculty nominated Avery to compete for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship at the American College Theater Festival. Also this semester, Avery performed in the KSU production of “Cabaret” in which she played the role of Fraulein Kost. Dean Adams shares, “I know the audiences were impressed with her work as Fraulein Kost. She brings a kindness and openness to her work that is a joy to watch.”
Despite Avery’s success in the states, the fulfillment of her true passion lies outside the borders of this country. The summer of 2013 will give Avery a long-awaited taste of international theater during KSU’s study abroad program to Scotland, where she will perform in the KSU production of "Red Hanrahan" at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival. “Red Hanrahan,” a new script by John Gentile, chair of the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies, is based on stories by W. B. Yeats and will be directed by Gentile and Henry Scott for performances on the KSU campus in Feb. 2013 before traveling to Edinburgh. “I can’t wait to learn about other styles of theater and other perceptions of what theater can be,” Avery exclaims. This international experience will give her the knowledge she needs to achieve her goal of teaching for Art for Refugees in Transition, an organization dedicated to preventing the loss of displaced peoples’ cultures through visual, performing and creative arts.