Theatre boasts bright future with young talent

May 2, 2014

By Kelly O'Brien ‘15

The Bradley University Theatre’s 2013-2014 season concluded with its presentation of The Rivals, but the stage is set for several semesters to come with young acting talent.  As a freshman, Katey Kraemer ’17 may be a fresh face on campus.  However, she’s no stranger to the Hartmann Center spotlight. 

Throughout her first year on the Hilltop, Kraemer has balanced studying both theatre and television arts while playing parts in many on-campus productions.

“This year I've been blessed to be challenged in so many varying roles,” she said. 

In the fall, she scored a spot in the musical Side Show as the bearded lady.  The challenge of converting from a college student to a carnival character equipped her for an even greater undertaking in the spring when she was cast in Clybourne Park as Bev, a middle-aged housewife who hides her tragic memories with a cheery exterior. 

“Bev was pretty repressed, and I really internalized how she was feeling,” she said.  “It was emotionally one of the hardest roles that I've had to prepare for, and I learned so much about acting during that show.”

Kraemer applied her experience from the previous productions to play a completely different person in The Rivals as Mrs. Malaprop. 

“In The Rivals, I get to be as big and crazy as I want to be,” she said.  “Mrs. Malaprop is the total opposite of Bev.  [She] gets to wear her emotions on her sleeve.” 

A source of comedic relief with a name that suggests the act of misspeaking, Kraemer’s Mrs. Malaprop provided plenty of laughs.

“It was really interesting getting into her head because, as you can tell from her name, she misuses words hilariously but thinks she's the best speaker in the world,” she said.  “It was so much fun to dig into the script and discover those misused words and what I actually meant to say, and hearing the audience scoff at them is the biggest reward ever.”

Though her character injected jokes into The Rivals, Kraemer found a deeper meaning within the play.

“The overall theme is love—discovering, re-discovering and finding it in unlikely places,” she said.

Katey Kraemer will continue her successful acting career on the Hartmann Center main stage this fall.  She has just been cast in one of the lead roles in Proof, the second scheduled show for the Fall 2014 season.  It appears that Kraemer has found a love for theatre at Bradley.