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two male Theatre students on stage

Theatre Arts Major Awarded by American College Theatre Festival

  • By: Abigail Franklin
  • Published:
Liannah Foster in black against white background

Taylor’s Theatre & Dance Program allows students to become involved in any and all areas of theatre performance and production. Theatre Arts majors are encouraged to lean into their passions, wherever that may be. For Liannah Foster ‘23, she found her footing in the art of stage makeup, and her work was recently awarded Excellence in Hair and Makeup Design by the American College Theatre Festival.

The Dream of Theatre

Foster discovered her love of theatre when she was in elementary school, performing in local productions and singing on stage. She knew she was going to major in theatre when she came to Taylor, and a conversation with her mom steered her towards gaining experience in the hair and makeup side of theatre. Foster loves to act but is cognizant that having more than one area of expertise in theatre can help boost job prospects. She has always had an interest in hair and makeup off the stage, and she found stage makeup to be another skill to develop.

“I want to make sure that people feel good regardless of what the stage makeup calls for and for them to feel good in their skin,” Foster said. “I understand that I have a job to do, and if an actor has to look like a mess, then that’s what we have to do, but I still want to feel confident that they feel okay.”

Two respondents of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival attended Taylor Theatre’s production of Borrowed Babies in September of 2021. They were impressed by Liannah’s work, entered her work into the festival, and she was awarded Excellence in Hair and Makeup Design by the American College Theatre Festival.

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Liannah Foster's work featured in Borrowed Babies

Pursuing Excellence on Taylor’s Stage

In February, Taylor Theatre performed To Kill a Mockingbird, adapted from the novel with the same name. Foster did hair and makeup for the show and was able to expand her skillset.

“We had black women in the show, including myself, and I had a lot of fun just getting to work with natural hair and showing off the natural beauty of black women during that time period,” Foster said. “Learning the different textures and being able to give them a very pretty and simple look was neat. It was fun because people always say that black hair is unprofessional, and being able to step out of that and let these women wear their hair naturally--I think that’s really important to be able to show that on stage.”

Christ at the Core

Foster’s time at Taylor has taught her to trust God, wherever He is calling her, even through the unknown or the overwhelming.

“Sometimes I get a little nervous when I have to do bigger shows with more people,” Foster said. “I just pray and talk with my mentors and let them know that I am struggling and ask if they could say a prayer for me. When it comes to theatre and my faith, I know that’s where God put me, and there’s no doubt in my mind about that.”

After graduation, Foster is hopeful to continue working with hair and makeup for theatres in Chicago, and possibly branch out into film or commercial work. She feels that her time at Taylor has prepared her well for a world full of possibilities, and is excited to see where God continues to lead her.

Interested in learning more about Taylor’s theatre program? Click here.