Williams of Milwaukee understands the importance of communication. As a junior
double majoring in theater and communication arts at Cardinal Stritch University,
he values nuance, tone and even nonverbal signals.
class at Stritch has been Interpersonal Communication,” Williams said. “It was
rewarding to be in a classroom environment with other students who wanted to
learn and a professor who was so well-equipped with the tools to teach us.”
Williams’ learning also takes place in a less traditional classroom – the Nancy
Kendall Theater. Rooted in the liberal arts tradition, Stritch’s theater
program combines experiential training with rigorous academic coursework to
ground practice in theory.
Each year, theater students perform four
productions – a musical, a children’s show and two plays. A seasoned veteran of the Stritch
stage, Williams has been in six shows (so far) in his undergraduate career.
Williams, also a singer, easily transitions from vocally
demanding musical performances to dramatic monologues to downright silly
characters. What do these different performances have in common? They’re all
entertaining! Williams’ most recent performance as the hen in “Jack and the
Beanstalk” had audiences of all ages laughing, thanks to his comedic timing.
“Donnie contributes a unique stage presence and
sense of humor to Stritch’s performing arts program,” said Mark Boergers, chair
of the theater department. “Because he has worked so hard to attain the bravery
to be uniquely himself on stage, his personality and voice become a part of the
fabric of the productions we mount and add a colorful vibrancy to the human
stories we portray.”
leads the University’s acapella group and has been active in University
Ministry, choir, and other student organizations. With coursework and
extracurricular activities, Williams’ days can be a bit hectic, especially when
he’s rehearsing for a play. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.
would have asked me in high school if I’d be good with managing such a crazy
schedule, I would have laughed,” Williams said. “I was the most unorganized
person ever! But at Stritch, I’ve learned to work hard for the opportunities
to talent, determination and discipline, Williams has another key to his
success – financial support.
students, Williams faces financial barriers to funding and completing his
college degree. He is grateful for the financial support of scholarship donors.
aid was actually the deciding factor in my college search,” Williams said. “Fortunately,
the scholarships and financial aid from Stritch helps students like me. Without
that financial support, I wouldn’t have the money to pay for the education I’m
receiving at Stritch.”
graduates from Stritch, Williams plans to pursue professional theater gigs in
Chicago and possibly enroll in a master’s degree program.