Student Focus: Bobbie Buie

Name: Bobbie Buiesmiling man
Major: Performing Arts and English
Hometown: Ames, Iowa
Planned Graduation Date: Spring 2025

In addition to Theatre, what are you involved with at ISU and beyond? Outside of my production roles, I work as a carpenter and electrician at Fisher Theater. I work at Stephens Auditorium as well, as a stagehand. I am also a student representative for ISU Theatre, which includes facilitating communication between my peers and our faculty, coordinating events, assisting with recruitment, and more. I have several pieces published in "Sketch", ISU's student written and produced literary journal.

What theatre projects are you working on right now or have coming up? I am working for the summer as a lighting apprentice at Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, Minnesota. I've also started working on my projects for the fall, which include lighting design for the upcoming ISU Theatre production Fairytales for the Anthropocene and scenic design Iowa Stage Theatre Company's production of Witch -- my first professional theatrical design. In the spring, I will be the scenic and lighting designer for ISU Theatre's 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

What is your favorite thing about your eperiences at Iowa State? My relationship with my instructors, who are interested in both me as a person and as a theatre artist. I've had a couple of professors in particular who have gone above and beyond to connect me to both professional employment and to enriching opportunities right here at ISU, and to help me figure out a plan to apply the skills they're teaching me now in the future. The way that these relationships have extended beyond that classroom has added significant value to my degree.

Why did you choose the Departmentof Music and Theatre at ISU? I knew that I wanted to study theatre, but I didn't know what within the very broad subject that I wanted to focus on. The flexible degree program allowed me to fully explore and find what area of theatre fulfills me the most. I also knew that I would receive more individualized and hands-on education with the smaller department size-- and indeed, the opportunities that I've been allowed through ISU Theatre have been limited only by the amount of hours in the day.

What are your plans after graduation? I would like to move to Chicago and work as a freelance theatrical designer for a year or two, before going to grad school and getting my MFA in either lighting or scenic design.

Any words of wisdom for prospective students? Go to class, you pay a lot for it. Build relationships with your professors, because they are the building blocks of your professional network and the best sources of advice about all sorts of unexpected things, even beyond the realm of theatre. Check your emails. Don't wait for opportunities to fall into your lap because you're way more likely to receive them if you ask for them.