Friday, February 19, 2010

Carolyn Coulson-Grigsby: Theater professor's role model is CMT founder John Healy

Carolyn Coulson-Grigsby (Photo: Carolyn Coulson-Grigsby)

When Carolyn Coulson-Grigsby, 44, arrived at Shenandoah University in Virginia to teach and direct in its Conservatory theater division, she felt as if she had come full circle.

At her first CMT audition for Bye Bye Birdie (1977) at age 12, Carolyn’s voice could hardly be heard. Five years later she knew how to jitterbug, learned “being in the chorus mattered,” and was known for belting out her songs.

“The impact CMT had on my life was huge as it started my theater career. I made many good friends and learned the fundamentals of performance, and the importance of responsibility and cooperation,” said Carolyn.

After CMT, Carolyn obtained degrees from Santa Clara University and University of Connecticut. She also trained in acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

The Conservatory’s musical theater program brought back warm memories of CMT. “It was a great environment – showing us you could have fun and work hard at the same time.”
She hopes to inspire her students in the same way that she was inspired by founder John Healy.

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