In Performance and In Service - Christopher Newport University


In Performance and In Service

Ferguson Scholars share their passion for the stage while giving back to the community.

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Kristin Zipprich (left) and Cody Hall
Kristin Zipprich (left) and Cody Hall

By receiving a Ferguson Enterprises Performing Arts Scholarship, Christopher Newport students demonstrate a commitment to their education as well as to serving others. Two theater majors, Kristin Zipprich and Cody Hall, exemplify the spirit of this award.

Zipprich auditioned to be a Ferguson Scholar before her freshman year. “I was ecstatic when I found out about the scholarship. My goal since then has been to give back to the theater community,” she says. For Hall, becoming a Ferguson Scholar came somewhat as a surprise. “I didn’t come in as a theater major; I was undecided,” he explains. “I auditioned for one of TheaterCNU’s shows and, after failing to get the part, was contacted by Professor Gregg Lloyd to come back and audition for him. He later told me my performance was a test to see if I had what it took to become a Ferguson Scholar – and that I had successfully earned it!”

While Zipprich and Hall have both been featured in recent campus productions, Zipprich had to audition remotely for her role. “My journey to becoming Rosalind Franklin in “Photograph 51” was different than most,” she says. “I was studying abroad in Ireland, so I had to send in a video audition. I was so excited when I got the role, I almost couldn’t believe it.”

Hall’s casting as juror No. 3 in “12 Angry Jurors” allowed him to explore a character completely unlike himself. “Juror No. 3 is a very opinionated man,” Hall says. “Basically, he’s very obnoxious and angry, which is the exact opposite of who I am in real life.” Because the character spends the duration of the play in a state of anger, Hall developed new ways to express that emotion. “I didn’t want to strain my voice too much, given all the yelling this character does,” he notes. “So I had to find ways to display anger differently; sometimes this had to be with quiet intensity instead of screaming.”

Both focused on their theater studies, Zipprich and Hall also use their talents for the greater good. “There is no feeling quite like sharing your passion for giving,” Zipprich says. “In the past I have worked with Woodside High School’s theater department, and I am now with Centerstage Academy in Yorktown, helping them with their musical auditions and teaching some of their dance classes. The most rewarding part is watching the kids I teach reflect their passion in everything they do.”

Hall exhibits a similar drive and has helped local high schools with productions and auditions. “I also assisted the Arts Ballet Academy, which allowed me to teach small children acting skills,” he says. “In the future I would love to visit more retirement homes and perform for people there.”

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