Noonan projects positivity

Michael Schurig CONTRIBUTOR

Julie Noonan has been a professor of the Washburn University theatre department for the last three years, and in these three years of being here, she has had some very positive things to say about Washburn.

“My overall impressions of Washburn are that there are so many opportunities,” said Noonan. “To network in plays, work in musicals, and express the themes of what these plays and musicals truly mean.”

After getting her degree in music education from South Dakota State University, Noonan taught music at an elementary school from grades one through eight in Rochester, Minn. She then went to grad school at the University of Kansas to study musical theatre history. After that Noonan became an instructor at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan., for eight years, where she then saw that there was an opening here at Washburn, where she has discovered new opportunities.

Sharon Sullivan, Chair of the theatre department here at Washburn, knows that the theatre department was in a rebuilding phase where Noonan has made a positive difference.

“We had four faculty members retire in three years so we kind of got to create a new department. Now the whole department works collaboratively and she is a perfect fit,” said Sullivan. “She is quite remarkable with many diverse experiences and skills. She can do everything.”

Sullivan had other positive things to say about Noonan.

“What I’ve always loved about her is that she stays calm,” said Sullivan. “Students that audition for plays can get stressed out about their upcoming audition or upcoming play, whether that comes to memorizing lines, or remembering where to go on scene, and much more.”

Students have enjoyed her teaching style and her classes such as junior mass media major Victor Ramirez.

“She wanted you to find the best action for your character,” said Ramirez. “What I enjoyed most about Acting 1 was the prework before your scene. . . it helped develop your character.”

Ramirez also mentioned that acting can be nerve-racking at times, but Noonan was always helping students find solutions to those struggles.

“What I always enjoyed about the course was the welcoming, warm environment she wanted to create with the class. As novice actors the nerves were at an ultimate high. We began the course by meeting everyone in the class and getting to connect with them. A lot of the in-class work was with multiple partners in order to better build trust and comfort,” said Ramirez.

Edited by Adam White, Jason Morrison, Jada Johnson