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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Theater lover takes to education

    Senior Sara Jane McDaniel is majoring in theater education and is co-president of the UA Vagina Warriors, which puts on The Vagina Monologues every year.
    Senior Sara Jane McDaniel is majoring in theater education and is co-president of the UA Vagina Warriors, which puts on ‘The Vagina Monologues’ every year.

    When Sara Jane McDaniel arrived on campus in the fall of 2003 from Greensboro, N.C., her dream was to be a musical theater star.

    “”I knew I wanted to do theater,”” McDaniel said. “”UA is one of the best so I came here for that reason.””

    McDaniel had been involved in theater since she was in second grade, but by the end of her freshman year at UA, she wasn’t sure musical theater was for her.

    In the typical college fashion, she changed her major multiple times, including a stint in music and then ultimately found her passion – theater education.

    “”I always knew I wanted to teach,”” she said. “”I ended up finding that I liked it a lot more than I thought. It fell in to my lap and I am so much more passionate about it than performing.””

    McDaniel said she immediately felt at home in the theater education program, mostly because of the people.

    “”It’s a real family atmosphere, there are only about 30 to 40 people in the program,”” she said. “”We all hang out together and we support each other. Plus, my advisor, Laura McCammon, is wonderful.””

    Currently, McDaniel is doing her student teaching at Cienega High School in Vail. She said she is looking forward to opportunities that she will be able to take advantage of once she graduates.

    “”I am not going to start teaching at a high school right away because you really need to be settled to do that,”” she said. “”When you take on a teaching position, your goal is to start a program at that school and you can’t do that if you aren’t really sure of where you are going to be.””

    Instead, McDaniel is looking for alternative positions that still incorporate teaching but also allow her the freedom to travel. Her main goal right now is to get accepted in to a program that will allow her to teach English in foreign countries.

    “”I am currently getting certified to teach English as a foreign language through the Center for English as a Second language,”” she said. “”Countries like China, Africa and Spain are always looking for teachers.””

    She also wants to get involved with a program run by the Tucson Unified School District called Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA).

    “”It was started as a master’s project. OMA places a box in schools and then encourages students to write stories and submit them in the box,”” she said. “”From those stories, the OMA performing troupe chooses the best one and converts it in to a play that they perform a couple weeks later at the school.””

    It is a good way to help students get exposure to the arts, McDaniel said. She feels that it is especially important to get arts exposure in elementary and middle schools.

    “”You get a little more of it in high school, but not so much in the lower levels,”” she said.

    Besides teaching, McDaniel has also been involved with other clubs and organizations on campus. She is co-president of the UA Vagina Warriors, a club that produces “”The Vagina Monologues”” every year and is an active member in Lutheran Campus Ministry.

    In her words, she is “”super-excited”” to graduate.

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