Jacob Christiansen ’16
Omaha, Nebraska

Stage right

In addition to participating in nearly every Northwestern theatre production both on stage and behind the scenes, Jacob is also an Admissions Ambassador, peer tutor, and writer for the student newspaper. After graduation he wants to audition for comedy-improv troupes in Chicago. Eventually he plans to attend graduate school or seminary and would love to someday be a pastor and worship leader or teach theatre at a small Christian college like Northwestern.

Different drama
I visited Northwestern a few times and chose it two reasons: one, the award-winning DeWitt Theatre Arts Center, which far surpassed my expectations for the theatre facilities at a small Christian college; and two, the well-versed, warm and relational theatre professors. From my first meeting, I was welcomed and challenged as an artist. Northwestern seemed to me to be a place where loving, Christ-like people came to pursue excellence.

Faith plays a role
I appreciate so many things about Northwestern theatre. It’s a team, a community, a family. We laugh with each other and pray with each other. We love and grow with each other. We’re always asking each other and ourselves: “Does what we’re doing, as artists or people, point to God? Does it further the kingdom?” Our professors constantly encourage us to greater ensemble, and they have had such a radical impact on my faith and my idea of good art. They model artistic integrity and Christ-like personhood, and I aspire to be like them.

Action packed
Beyond theatre, one of my favorite parts of Northwestern is chapel. They bring in interesting and challenging speakers, they push us with calls to mission, they engage us with insightful looks into the Bible, and they remind us of our imperfection and the need for Christ’s redeeming grace. I love it most when our own professors speak in chapel—professors from all different disciplines. While I won’t be majoring in biology any time soon, it’s fascinating to hear the relationship between science and faith explored in chapel.

Scripted for success
Theatre is the “melting pot” of art forms, combining performance, music, design, visual art, costuming and a host of other creative processes into one glorious presentation. It’s this coming together of artists I find most enthralling about theatre. Admittedly, choosing to invest college tuition into that enthrallment—that took some thought. I heard the same things a lot of prospective theatre majors probably hear: “There’s little money in it. Do something practical.” Now I can confidently point out the falseness of that perspective (Northwestern theatre majors are acting, designing, writing plays, teaching, preaching, practicing law …), but a few years ago, I might have listened except for my supportive parents who encouraged me to pursue what I was most passionate about. I went ahead and chose to major in theatre because I felt that if I chose anything else, it would just be a substitute—a way to meet worldly expectations instead of meeting the challenge of following God’s plan.