Every year, the St. Ambrose Theatre Department welcomes energetic and enthusiastic first-year students who put their talents to work in a variety of ways. This year is no exception, as shown by our first-year student K Leigh Hampton. She has already been involved in the department in several ways, and we can't wait to see what she does next!
Hampton fell in love with performing through early grade school fall and spring concerts.
"I always wanted to be front and center, and when I started getting solos, I knew I wanted to perform more," she said.
When she was eight, her mother noticed she was unhappy in softball and took her to the theatre company at Fulton County Playhouse instead. There, Hampton experienced theatre for the first time in the chorus of Beauty and the Beast.
"I had never had something fit me so well before," she remembered. "It just felt natural."
She threw herself into theatre throughout the rest of grade school and high school. One of her favorite memories was a high school production her senior year in which she had three roles: actor, costume coordinator, and cast T-shirt designer. She spent hours working around her school, theatre, and basketball schedule to custom design 13 T-shirts with puffy paint. Even though it was hectic, she remembered that she loved it and became more interested in continuing with costume design.
K Leigh Hampton
From Elmwood, Illinois, K Leigh already has performed in the Fresh Face Revue and is gearing up for the children's musical this December, "Honk Jr.!" She is majoring in Psychology and Theatre.
Hampton was first drawn to St. Ambrose when she came here for a theatre scholarship audition. She said that everyone welcomed her right away, and she felt that they cared about her as a person. When she was offered a theatre scholarship, she accepted her offer without hesitation.
"I couldn't wait to work with such an amazing group of people," she said.
At St. Ambrose, she is excited to work with people who have dedicated themselves so completely to theatre.
She's already jumped right in by performing in the Fresh Face Revue, in which she enjoyed meeting other first-years in the department. She's also in the cast of SAU's children's show Honk Jr. and is in one-act plays directed by seniors Halie Osborn and Rebecca Moews. Hampton said she enjoys getting to know the older students in the department through Honk Jr. and seeing the different directing and acting "hats" of her directors during one-acts.
Hampton is eager to explore acting, costumes, and backstage work at St. Ambrose in the future. She's taking THTR 309 Costume Design for the Theatre next semester, in which she can add to her high school knowledge of costume rendering and construction. She'll also be working as an assistant stage manager for the spring Studio Theatre play Speech and Debate and is thrilled to be involved in musicals again since her high school couldn't afford them.
Before graduating from St. Ambrose, Hampton wants to costume design and stage manage for Studio Theatre productions (and maybe, eventually, a main stage show).
In addition to her theatre involvement, this busy bee is also involved in Dance Marathon, CAB, Relay for Life, and the Theatre Appreciation Club.
We at St. Ambrose can't wait to see what she does next. We know that with her here, our Theatre Department is going to be A-O "K!"