Speech Of The School Of Performing Arts And Cinema At Virginia Tech

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Keynote remarks for Thespian Conference/Jan. 26, 2013 Hello. (My name is Patty Raun. I am the director of the School of Performing Arts and Cinema at Virginia Tech. Talk aout my background is as an actor. I hope you know about our remarkably strong theatre department and our growing cinema program -- if you don 't my colleague David Johnson and I will be happy to talk to you about the opportunities at Virginia Tech.) Thank you so much, Nancy, for inviting me to speak. Oh my . . . please forgive me for what I am about to say . . . but as I look out on your faces I can 't help but remember myself and my friends when I was in high school (100 years ago) . . . getting ready to take our one-acts to the Thespian Conference . . . auditioning . . . rehearsing . . . making the costumes . . . building and striking the sets. And I will never forget the fights I had with my dear dad and the worried look on my mother 's face when I told them I wanted to study acting and theatre in college. "You have a great mind, Patty!" I remember my dad saying, "You need to use it for something more practical! Go into law or medicine! Make theatre an avocation . . . not a vocation!" You see I was raised in a family of scientists -- we had a copy of Gray 's Anatomy (the book, not the television series) and a hefty taxonomic reference guide by the dinner table at all times to settle family arguments. My parents love for me made them fear that our society would not value me if I followed my

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