UI freshman sees bright future in theater


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Katie Boothroyd has to admit that, occasionally, parents are right. Boothroyd’s parents kick-started her involvement in theater.

“In fifth grade, my father signed me up for a theater camp at the Des Moines Playhouse,” said the Iowa Center for the Arts Scholarship recipient. “I got to be the Pied Piper. I think the only reason I got the role was because I could play the recorder.”

Even though she enjoyed the experience of her first show, she did not immediately fall in love with the theater.

“I guess you could say I just stumbled into the theater,” she said. “It was never my idea to do theater until my freshman year; until then, it had always been others getting me to do it.”

Once Boothroyd decided she wanted to pursue life in the theater, the theater and English major did so with a “passion.”

In her senior year of high school, while making college plans, she chose to audition for the Iowa Center for the Arts Scholarship. After driving two hours, she performed a three-minute presentation for the organization’s selection committee. The audition consisted of two monologues: an abbreviated version of Phaedra’s monologue from Phaedra and a selection from an audition book.

“I told my director about the audition, so he helped me cut my seven-minute Phaedra monologue down to a minute or so,” she said. “It was really stressful, because there were so many parts of the monologue that I loved and that I had practiced and prepared as a whole. There were challenges with both pieces.”

The selection committee believed Boothroyd met those challenges and awarded her the full in-state tuition scholarship.

Since winning this honor and starting her freshman year at the University of Iowa, she has participated in the first round of auditions.

“I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve been involved with the theater in every way, every aspect,” said Boothroyd with a smile. “I wrote and directed my own show in eighth grade. It was about a girl in middle school, and she has a psychological disease. Her conscience was an actual person who followed her everywhere and was really mean to her.”

“Katie was an exemplary member of our speech and theater organization in Waukee,” said Jacqueline Pleggenkuhle, Boothroyd’s speech coach at Waukee High School. “She put her heart and soul into every character she played, and in doing so, she made everyone excel by association.  I love working with her.”

Kaitlyn Hall, a peer of Boothroyd, shared Pleggenkuhle’s sentiment: “Katie is a delight to work with. She’s focused when she’s working and always creates a fun environment for everyone around her.”
Boothroyd’s greatest accomplishment occurred when she played Beatrice in The Servant of Two Masters.

“We had a new theater building built my junior year, and I got to be in the first play performed there,” she said. “The old theater felt like a concert hall, but in the new building, I actually felt like I was in a theater. It was a beautiful space.”

She said she will continue to pursue her passion while in college.

“I just want to be involved,” she said. “I want to audition, but I don’t want to be upset if I don’t make it. I always want to be involved in some fashion. My goal is to be happy with what I’ve done here, give as much of myself as I can to the Theater Department, and not set limiting goals for myself.”
Boothroyd has high hopes for the next four years.

“For me, it was a choice between the University of Iowa and a conservatory,” she said. “I made a decision that I wanted to get a well-rounded education, instead of just studying acting for two years. I wanted to learn everything.”

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