By Karis Fuller
Arts and Entertainment Editor
The Department of Theater, Dance & Arts Management is far more than just the individuals acting on stage. There’s a whole other world behind the curtains, filled with late nights and fueled by coffee. Senior theatre production major with a focus in stage management, Katherine Keaney has certainly established herself as one of the faces behind the many PTC shows.
Keaney has been through ups and downs as a member of PTC. Starting at LIU Post as a musical theatre major, Keaney knew that her love for the theatre was for more than just the act of performing, which resulted in her changing her major fall 2016. “I realized I never loved performing; it’s [just] all I knew. At the end of the day I’ve always loved theater as a whole. And the process of taking words on the page and making them mean something,” Keaney said.
She had not heard of LIU Post before 2014; all Keaney knew was that she wanted to be close to the Big Apple. “Post seemed like a very welcoming campus, bright, with a very strong theatre program, with a close approximation to New York City,” Keaney said. “But also good vibes!”
Like other prospective students, the Boston native attended auditions in the fall of 2014 with Unified in NYC. “My mother was a college counselor, so she insisted I look at the school despite me not wanting to because I hadn’t heard of it before,” she said. “We were in the neighborhood because I was looking at Hofstra, which is a renowned program, and I fell in love the campus immediately.” Keaney’s connection with the other prospective students and professors like Dave Hugo made her decision an easy one. “He (Hugo) influences students, he sets a really strong influence and passion for their students and about LIU Post that is undeniable,” Keaney said.
Spending her last summer working for online last minute ticket app TodayTix, Keaney was absorbed in the Broadway lights and met many of her stage idols. “I did run into a lot of the LIU Post theatre faculty, and like the entire athletic department,” she said.
Senior year has much to offer for Keaney. “It’s really now about honing my craft and getting confident and comfortable in the decisions you made. It’s really the year of taking all you’ve learned and just letting yourself settle and grow, and prepare for the next step,” Keaney said. After graduation, Keaney hopes to travel. “In the long run I want to be a part of art, that includes culture and cultivates what it means to be human, what it means to learn about other places,” Keaney said. “I want to tour, I want to be a part of touring companies rather than settling in New York City.” This semester, Keaney will be stage managing the main stage production of Ellen McLaughin’s “Iphigenia and Other Daughters.”
Sophomore Emily Shoup has worked with Keaney since fall 2017. “She has the most amazing imagination and somehow makes the most boring tasks seem so much fun,” Shoup said.
Keaney speaks highly of her past three years. “The professors really put their all into the students so you develop some really close individual relationships,” Keaney said. “The professors in the tech classes are always talking about past students, and then they’ll meet up with each other, even students that have graduated a decade ago.”
In terms of advice for new students joining PTC, Keaney wishes she had more confidence from the beginning. “Don’t let anyone else define you, just make your own choices and do them for you and you’ll find your way. Don’t stop working and don’t lose sight of the passion, because at the end of the day you’re going to be okay.”
Editor’s note: This series follows the returning members of the Post Theatre Company.