Student and Alumni Spotlights for the Theatre Program

Courtney Holifield, Theatre Major

Name: Courtney Renee Holifield
Major: Musical Theatre
Hometown: Clinton, Mississippi
Fact: I had never been in a theatre production before attending Belhaven University. I sang in many concerts, cabarets, and show choir ensembles, but I never acted until my freshman year.

I chose to come to Belhaven because... I felt called to come. At the time I did not understand why because I thought the only gateway to a career in musical theatre was to attend a school in New York City, but now I thank God everyday for placing me here. Because it is a small university, the student/professor relationship is a lot more personal, our department has unbreakable bonds, and the constant one-on-one time with professors and coaches has helped further my craft passed the impossible.

One relationship that has meant a lot to me while attending Belhaven... When auditioning for Shrek the Musical here at Belhaven, no one, including myself, believed I would be Princess Fiona. People would say to my face I did not stand a chance. So I did what any insecure performer would do, aim for the next best role even though I desperately wanted to be the green princess. Luckily, Dr. David Sollish believed in me, and thanks to this talented director and mentor, I began to believe in myself. He helped me realize I am capable of a career in musical theatre. Through the entire run of Shrek I never had any nervous energy on stage because I knew he believed in me. He knew and helped me realize that I was where I belonged. Although the audition process still makes me nervous, I am unafraid to fight for my chance in the spotlight. I am not worried about the future because this is what I was born to do and I would not have that mindset if it wasn't for my relationship with Dr. Sollish.

Because of my degree from Belhaven University... Belhaven has given me the confidence and skills I need to have a career in theatre. My professors have improved my craft, allowing me to play a wide range of characters. Because of the Belhaven University Theatre Department, I am more than an ensemble member dancing in the background or in the chorus singing with several hundred others. I am an actor.

One word to describe my experience at Belhaven: Magical