Congratulations to Wheaton Drama’s 2018 Scholarship recipients: Katherine Schaber and Richard Gieser.
Katherine Schaber is a graduate of Hinsdale Central High School and is attending Boston University School of Theatre to pursue a BFA in Theatre. She dedicated her time to training in acting, dance, voice, and stage combat in both private lessons and workshops at the Goodman, Drury Lane, and Chicago Shakespeare. An active member of both her theatre department and forensics team, Katherine excelled in all areas of performing.
Whether starring as a lead or strengthening the core of the ensemble, Katherine maintained continuous involvement in her high school and community youth theatres. She often served as dance captain in musical productions and has done extensive costume and wig design–including creating 25 wigs for The Little Mermaid. With her youth theatre, she served as an intern and was responsible for 35 younger performers, choreographing musical numbers, and completing management duties.
She has begun to dip her toes in student film work and appeared in the 2017-18 season’s Rigoletto with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Her teachers and directors speak of her “true passion for theatre,” “great heart,” and “extreme commitment” in ensemble-driven productions, emphasizing the respect she has earned from her castmates. She has a desire to seek out performance, non-performance, and educational opportunities alike, and she views art as “our best chance to restore peace and understanding” by evoking “a sense of empathy within the oppressors” and by giving “hope to the oppressed.”
Richard Gieser is a graduate of West Chicago Community High School and is attending University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to major in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences.
Richard has played many roles on an offstage during his high school career, trying his hand at set construction, light and sound board operations, and house management, and acting. He became an event coordinator for the winter radio play, which led to his workshop presentation at the Illinois High School Theatre Festival regarding benefit shoes to fund-raise for a cause.
Richard also expanded his repertoire into writing, dramaturgy, and directing as well as engaged in course work and workshops in drama, stage combat, and dialects. He various leadership roles in the Wego Drama Club, including president during his senior year. Beyond theatre, he exhibited leadership roles in Student Ambassadors, National Honors Society, Film Club, and Technical Staff. With his high school theatre troupe, he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Outside of school, Richard is active in the community, serving as a volunteer for the Carol Stream 4th of July Parade and assisting with the community-wide food drive. His teacher remarked upon his strong academic development and desire to take on independent study. He described Richard as humble, well-rounded, and service-oriented. Richard views the arts as an opportunity to promote collaboration between artists and to provoke critical thinking in the community.