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Becoming Director of Her Own Theatrical Pursuits

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August 21, 2009 –For Miranda Rose Hall (C’11), Georgetown provides an outlet to combine the artistic persuasions of writing, acting, dancing, singing and directing. She plans to draw on that experience when she addresses Georgetown’s Class of 2013 during this year’s New Student Convocation.

“My big point is that even if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and you don’t know what you want out of college – who you are or what you want to do, there are all kinds of people who have been waiting for you here,” Hall says. “They’re so excited you’re here, and they’ll help you find your voice.”

Hall, this year’s McTighe Prize winner, was selected to welcome the university’s newest group of incoming undergraduates during the Aug. 30 convocation. The prize allows new students to hear from a peer who embodies what it means to be a Georgetown student.

Hall’s theatrical background separated her from other McTighe Prize applicants, says Jean Farley, faculty chair of the New Student Convocation Committee.

“Miranda’s service and curricular activities show a purpose. It’s clear she takes advantage of opportunities at Georgetown, both to advance her theater studies and to have fun,” Farley explains.

Continuing an Artistic Legacy

Hall, who comes from a family of writers and artists, says it was comforting to discover that she could have a rigorous academic relationship with her artistic interest.

But it didn’t start out that way. She recalls her first days at Georgetown as an abundance of change swirling around her. Hall felt confused and unsure of herself.

Looking for solace, she visited Lauinger Library in search of her great-grandfather Ogden Nash’s poem, “A Lady Who Thinks She is Thirty.” Nash wrote the poem for Hall’s great-grandmother.

“I read it, and I just started weeping. I felt such a sense of relief and belonging,” recalls Hall, who is named for the piece’s character, Miranda. “I had a feeling that this poem, in this book, on this shelf, had been waiting for me to come and find it. It was a little hint that there was a critical piece of myself already waiting at Georgetown.”

Discovering Her Voice

The double major in English and theater and performance studies has discovered more of her voice at the university. She’s done everything in on-campus productions from acting to producing to directing to penning a one-act play.

That play, Witness, appeared in Georgetown’s one-act play competition this past spring and will be performed at 2 p.m. on Sept. 5 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Page-to-Stage festival.

Director of theater studies Derek Goldman says Hall’s example of life at Georgetown is valuable to new students.

“She’s absolutely engaged with the world around her and always curious to know more,” he says. “Miranda balances life here, and that is a great message that all students, whether they’re in the arts or not, can learn from.”

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