Bethany Theatre Student Lands Internship of a Lifetime, Spends Summer Acting in New Jersey

BETHANY, W.Va. – ‘An acting opportunity unlike any other’ is how Bethany College junior Aidan Morgan would describe how he spent his summer of 2022. Aiden says when he was presented the option to apply for an internship with esteemed Bethany alumna Bonnie Monte ’76, it was a no brainer.

Aidan took Theatre 376 in the spring—a course on dramatic literature taught by Bethany alumni David Joliffe ’74, Mark Phillip Stevenson ’73, and Monte. After learning first-hand from Monte, Aidan applied for an internship at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, where Monte has been the technical director for over three decades. He landed the position and soon enough was cast for a role in their production of “Much Ado About Nothing”—a comedy written by William Shakespeare.

“Within the two years I have had working with Aidan, he has blossomed into a phenomenal actor who will no doubt go far,” says Evan Oslund, adjunct professor of theatre at Bethany College. “He commits fully to what he is tasked with, be that on the stage or off it, and excels masterfully at his craft. I am elated to know that he has parlayed his determination and skill into working acting opportunities in the immediate as well as post-graduation.”

Aidan credits the mix of classes, acting, and working with equity and non-equity actors as to why the program at STNJ is invaluable.

“I am so fortunate to be a part of this program, and I’m glad I was given the opportunity,” Aidan says. “Bonnie is wonderful and so full of knowledge. She cares for theatre. She has talked about the problems COVID has caused, but keeps moving forward because she wants theatre to succeed after such a big hit to the industry.”

Aidan believes the internship has given him lifelong connections with actors and theatre professionals, and that it will help him in his future endeavors. He says that because of Bethany’s connection with alumni and STNJ—he now feels better equipped and more prepared to continue pursuing acting.

“The theatre program here at Bethany is blessed with myriad successful alumni, and Bonnie is no exception,” says Oslund. “Her knowledge is exemplary, and her love for the artform of live theatre is palpable. Our program here is blossoming with excellent young artists working to hone their craft every single day for the art they love. I am extremely excited about the connections we have forged and will inevitably carry forward with Bonnie and STNJ.”

“I could tell that Aidan was smart, creative, and passionate about pursuing his dream of becoming an actor, so I invited him to apply to the new Acting Fellow program at my theatre,” says Monte. “The program is designed to provide professional on-stage opportunities and classroom training for young, emerging artists. Scores of young actors from across the nation auditioned for only ten available spots, and Aidan made us proud that we had chosen him to be a part of that ensemble. I feel that his time here was an eye-opening and valuable experience for him, and he was an exemplary member of the company. I hope he’ll continue to work and train with us in the future!”

ABOUT BETHANY COLLEGE

Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.

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