Andrew Coopman

Anticipated Graduation Year: 2012

Majors: Theatre, Performance Track; Theatre, Community Based Theatre Track;  English, Literature Track

Hometown: Wheaton, Ill.

Whitworth activities/clubs: Whitworth Theatre, Jubilation, Cool Whip (Performer 2009-10), American College Dance Festival – Whitworth Team (2011)

Favorite book: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer. I read it for my 20th Century American Fiction class and it was by far my favorite book. Not only is the narrative and characters beautifully portrayed and written, but the book, itself, is a work of art. Check it out of the library at some point and you'll see exactly what I mean. It'll blow your mind.

Favorite quote: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Or "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." – Dr. Seuss

Favorite guilty pleasure: Not going to lie, I actually enjoy chick flicks and romantic comedies occasionally. They are just a nice sometimes. I don't think they are Oscar quality, but they are enjoyable. It is like McDonald's, you don't eat it because it is healthy for you, but because it helps you feel a little bit better about life.

Favorite thing about Whitworth: What I love about Whitworth is the fact that there is always something to do on campus and new people to meet. As a transfer student, I had experienced a community that usually only had one event a week, but Whitworth is totally different. Every night there is something going on in every dorm, there are concerts and events in the HUB all the time and people are always interested in meeting other people. I made so many new friends just by going to events on campus, it was totally the highlight of my first year at Whitworth and still is to this day.

Best class: Best class would have to be TA 360: Fundamentals of Directing. This class was challenging, but so rewarding. It was hands-on learning because we directed each other as classmates, but also got to fully direct a one-act of our own choosing. This is actually the class that inspired me to be a director as a career, and taught me so much about my leadership style and directing style.

Favorite place or hangout on campus: I love spending time in the coffee shop, Mind and Hearth. Hanging out with a nice cup of coffee and a few friends is the highlight of most of my days. I appreciate the chill environment and the feeling that anyone can come and go and enjoy their time there. Plus, they make a GREAT medium vanilla double-dirty chai tea latte. :-)

Why I chose to attend Whitworth: I chose Whitworth because was the best school to prepare me for what I wanted to do with my life. When I transferred out of my old school, I knew that I would settle for nothing less than exactly what would help me be the best Theatre and English teacher I could be. And Whitworth is that school. When I stepped on the campus for the first time back in July of 2009, I knew that Whitworth was exactly where I was meant to be. And at the time, I wasn't sure that it would work out, but a lot of doors opened for me to be able to move out of Illinois to Washington to attend this school. I have never regretted the decision; I know that this is where I am meant to be and where I will be able to be the best that I can be.

Advice for incoming students: To Freshman – Remember that your freshman year is as exciting as you are willing to make it. If you let yourself try new things and really dive into the community at Whitworth, then you are going to get so much out of everything you do. You'll make new friends, try new fun things, and really enjoy life if you do this. Don't let yourself get bogged down by the work; it'll get done as you work. But remember that enjoying your freshman year and the community around you is just as important as the work for school.

What I plan to do after graduation: I plan to be a teacher of theatre and director someday. Whether that is at a professional theatre company, a children's theatre company, or at a college or university, I don't know. But what I do know is that I have a passion for teaching theatre and directing shows and creating art on the stage. I believe it is my calling and something that I love participating in it. It is an expression of creativity and life, and I hope that I can find the opportunity to continue to do it for as long as I can.