When Daniel Leonard graduates in May with double majors in theatre performance and English with an emphasis in creative writing, he’ll wrap up four years of taking advantage of every opportunity to prepare for a theatre career.
Leonard acted in lead roles for numerous campus and community plays, which garnered glowing reviews.
By pursuing a number of extracurricular public relations and marketing roles, he accumulated a wide range of behind-the-scenes theatre experiences, from designing web pages and posters to taking theatre photos and managing social media sites, all of which served to enhance his educational experience.
“I accepted opportunities that came my way,” he said. “It started slow and then snowballed to the point where I am now, which is a great place to be.”
Leonard worked in the public relations offices of CU-Boulder’s Department of Theatre and Dance and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and served as the social media manager for the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company.
He was also active with CU-OnStage, the student organization for the performing arts, and planned the organization’s annual Fringe Festival, the only collegiate fringe festival in the country.
For his final senior project, Leonard produced the entire performance of Jekyll and Hyde: the Musical at The Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder.
“I used all the skills I’ve learned and put them into a professional production,” he said. “I’d never be able to do that without the tools and opportunities CU has given me.”
A Boettcher Scholar, the Arvada, Colo. native received the prestigious four-year academic scholarship awarded to top Colorado students.
“I came to CU for the theatre department,” he said, “because of its high level of production and its partnership with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and also for the English department. Quite a few of my high school English teachers came to CU for their degrees.”
After learning about the marketing, public relations and production of theatrical performances while at CU-Boulder, Leonard became interested in pursuing a career in theatre company production as an artistic producer or executive producer. To that end, Leonard has applied to the MBA program at CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business.
“The theatre department and creative writing program prepared me to be a professional in the real world,” he said. “With an MBA, I could build on that so I can use my artistic vision and business practicality for a whole new career option.”