Southeast Missouri State University

Southeast Student Experiences the Theatre in London

Department of Theatre & Dance

Last summer, Hannah Bagnall, a musical theatre major at Southeast Missouri State University, did what most college students do over summer break—she completed an internship.  Many college students, however, do not have the opportunity to intern in London.

Hannah of Rolla, Mo., seized the opportunity to intern with King’s Head Theatre in London through the study abroad Missouri-London program.  She spent nine weeks working in all aspects of the theatre.

“I helped in the box office, ushering, running errands, answering phones.  Basically I did everything that needed to be done in the theatre,” Hannah said. 

Hannah encourages every student to travel to a foreign country because it was a great learning experience for her, and the fun she had in London provided memories she will never forget.

“There are theatres, big and small, everywhere, and the shopping is some of the best in the world,” Hannah said.  “One of the best parts of being in London is there are always free activities to do around the city.  Art exhibits and most museums and palaces are free—some of the grandest in the world!  There’s history everywhere, and there is always someone around who would be more than pleased to tell you about it.”

In her time at Southeast, Hannah has starred in “Big River,” “Biloxi Blues,” “Sweet Charity,” “Carousel” and numerous fall and spring dance concerts.  She is also a member of University Players and works as an assistant in the River Campus costume shop. 

The people Hannah has had the chance to work with in theatre have helped her grow as a performer, she says.  She worked with Dennis Courtney, a professional actor, director and choreographer, in her preparation for “Carousel,” which she said was one of her most exciting experiences in theatre thus far.  Southeast voice and musical theatre instructor Judith Farris has also played a vital role in Hannah’s theatre experience.

“The chance to work with Judith Farris as my voice teacher has been the most important factor in my growth as a performer.  Southeast is lucky to have her expertise,” Hannah said.  “I really value the wonderfully brilliant and interesting people I have met through theatre.”

Hannah says her passion for performing has been with her all her life. 

“I’ve been dancing since I was 2 years old and singing since I could talk,” she said.

When she was just 11, Hannah was cast in Rolla’s professional theatre’s summer production of “Annie.”  She says she has been active in theatre ever since.

Hannah has begun her search for a job this summer, participating in several combined auditions where several theatres host auditions at one venue at the same time.  Hannah admits the auditions are stressful, but they are also fun and definitely worth the work if she receives callbacks for the theatres. 

Through her experience in theatre, Hannah has learned “it is important to know who you are so you are able to open your heart to give back to your peers and your audience.”