Matt remembers the many opportunities available to him as a student, “While I was earning my degree, I co-designed the set for The Assemblage Point with Professor Jeff Dintaman, assistant designed costumes for The Servant of Two Masters, and designed the set for Spring Awakening: A New Musical as my Senior Honors Project.” He also remembers seeing his peers work in the shops and stage crews, stage manage, design, act, dance, direct, choreograph, write, and produce.
In his junior year, he was awarded the Academic Administrative Assistantship Grant, and worked with and studied under Lisa Lantz and Jeff Dintaman each for one semester. Through this one-on-one instruction, Matt was able to assist faculty with their research, contribute to their work, and receive critique. Matt says, “Because of these experiences and the example of the faculty, I see my work as a designer both as an artistic and scholarly pursuit.”
His education in the Theater/Dance Department (now the Visual and Performing Arts Department) surpassed all his expectations of what he could learn, the artist he could be, or the future he could have. He is grateful for the talent, knowledge, approachability, and dedication of the faculty. They continue to teach students to create true, meaningful, impactful, new, and catalytic theatre.
I recommend that students read as many plays as they can and see as much live theatre as they can. Be your own harshest critic--no one can motivate you but yourself. Engage in a critical discussion with your work while you are developing it and after you have presented it, learn from your successes and shortcomings and carry that with you.
I am a full time graduate student at Michigan State University. I work as a teaching assistant, splitting my time between the classroom and the scene shop, designing mainstage productions and mentoring undergraduate designers, technicians, and theatre students.
More information about Matt Imhoff and his work can be found on his website.