If you are involved with or even interested in theater at Eastern University, you have likely heard of Morgan Leavy. Though she has only been at Eastern for 2 semesters after transferring here last spring, she has already made an impact.
Remarkably though, Leavy has not always been involved in theater. It was not until her first year of school at Heston College as a theater scholar that she began seriously participating in shows.
“I started acting in every show because my director made me a theater scholar,” said Leavy, “I did not know that if you’re a theater scholar, you are required to audition for every show.”
With only choir experience under her belt, Leavy found herself thrown into the world of theater.
“I found out the day of auditions that I needed to audition with a monologue memorized, and I had never memorized a monologue or anything like that before other than a song. So, my director gave me something, and I butchered it, and she put me in an ensemble role in a play. But then it turned out that I loved it,” Leavy said.
From there, Leavy has continued pursuing theater, even despite switching schools. She says she was drawn to it because despite how naturally acting came to her, she wanted to continue to get better.
“And I wasn’t afraid of what that journey looked like,” she said, “It was the first thing I really wanted to dedicate myself to that wasn’t a daunting task.”
While her love for the theater may have been unexpected for Leavy, those around her were unfazed.
“It was funny, because when I told my family that I was in a show and I started to really like being a part of it, they were like ‘Oh yeah, we’ve known you were an actress since you were three years old.’ So I was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’” She said.
Leavy says her favorite role she’s had while at Eastern was Masha from the Fall semester performance of Three Sisters, because of how heavily she identified with the character. Her favorite role of all-time though, was Frog from A Year with Frog and Toad, and it’s her favorite for a much different reason.
“I got to play a character in a children’s show that had to interact with children and be very bright and happy, like, I was hopping on stage, but I had to play someone, or something, that was completely different from how I live, and Frog brought that out of me.” Leavy said, “I had to just be peppy and the positive one. It was a challenge, but it just gave me an appreciation for playing something completely separate from me as well.”
Every role requires an immense amount of preparation, though. Leavy compares the process of preparing for a show to that of athletes training.
“A lot of people are familiar with athletics, because they had to be a part of it when they were four years old, or they watched their friends that are athletes go to their practices, and they’re always dressed up and stuff, but, I would say that theater is just as time consuming as a sport would be. Just because we have rehearsals like athletes have practice, but then we also have hours outside of rehearsal dedicated to memorization and characterization, and meeting up with your scene partners, and things like that, and that’s all on you. So, I’d say the process is a lot of time dedicated to those things,” She said.
Despite all the hard work and effort it takes, Leavy believes the outcome is worth all of it.
“My old director, Rachel Jansey, used to say theater is one of the most Christ-like things she could think of doing because you dedicate yourself to a show only to give it away to an audience every night, and if that’s not the most selfless thing, you know, your time, dedication, sweat , tears, all for the enjoyment and pleasure and emotion of someone else, strangers, family, friends, whatever, I think that’s a really beautiful thing,” said Leavy.