Commencement speaker takes acting skills to podium

Senior Patrick Dugan acts with junior Nathan Eswine and sophomore Melanie Umbaugh in the play “Buried Child.” (Photo from Meghan Sullivan)

Kevin Killeen
Editor in Chief

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 74 percent of Americans suffer from speech anxiety. In other words, as senior Patrick Dugan delivers the commencement speech at graduation on May 18, about 229 seniors will be relieved, thankful they’re not on the podium.

Dugan, however, is anxious as he looks forward to his time in the spotlight.

“It means the world to me,” said Dugan. “I’m representing my class; it’s an honor.”

Dugan credits much of his confidence to his background in acting, saying acting has made him more exuberant and outgoing. During high school, he participated in eight shows, including shows at the high school and local theater program COCA. Still, it wasn’t until Dugan’s junior year that he found his love for the stage.

Dugan originally went to try outs for “Noises Off” to support his friend, but drama teacher Todd Schaefer handed him a script and eventually forced him to try out.

“I was hoping someone like him was going to audition for ‘Noises Off’ last year, and when he walked in the room, I said, ‘Thank you’ out loud,” said drama teacher Sarah Romonawski. “His sense of comedy is hard to come by, he’s smart when he’s on stage, and he’s reliable.”
Dugan plans to double major in theater and business.

“If you love acting as much as I do, you’ve got to do it for a living,” said Dugan.

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