Seniors in the arts at GW

Senior theater major Daniel Kenner may be best known for directing Generic Theater Company’s “Crave,” but there’s more to this Rhode Island native than just splatter paint and stream of consciousness.

Completing what may have been one of GW’s most talked-about productions of the year, Kenner’s theatrical endeavors certainly don’t end here; he plans to employ his talents in the theater professionally.

Kenner came into GW knowing where his passions lay, after receiving a Presidential Arts scholarship in the theater department. He has been seen on the GW mainstage multiple times, and has also been active in student theater. Some credits include the department’s “Winter’s Tale,” Generic Theater Company’s “Metamorphoses,” and 14th Grade Players’ “The Nerd.” He has also directed multiple other projects in the department.

Growing up with the theater (Kenner’s father is also a GW theater alumnus), Kenner said he always knew that the arts were in his future.

“It’s an escape. Sometimes an escape is all you need. And I’m good at it,” Kenner said of the theater.

In addition to his department credits, Kenner also took advantage of various other programs while studying at GW. During his junior year, he went abroad and studied in London as a part of the British American Drama Academy program. The young actor also spent a month after his sophomore year living in Costa Rica, where he worked to improve children’s English communication through the use of theater games.

Kenner’s ambitions in the theater will only continue after graduation. Recently cast in the D.C.-based troupe the “National Players,” the actor will spend the next year, starting in September, touring the U.S. performing in “As You Like It” and “1984.” The troupe, a part of the Olney Theater Center, is in its 60th year, and consists of twelve young actors from across the country.

Before landing his most recent gig, however, Daniel had to work hard within the department, and gives credit to many professors at GW for their talent and support.

“When I came in freshman year, (theater professor) Alan Wade became a mentor and supporter. (He was) always there to support me.”

Kenner also gives thanks to other professors including Allyson Currin-Stokes, Elizabeth Kitsos-Kang, and Karin Abromaitis.

“These teachers teach with so much zeal and have so much fun being a part of kids’ lives, and share with (them) an interest and knowledge of theater,” Kenner said of his professors.

As a writer, actor and director, Kenner’s advice to other theater students is simple: “When you find something that really speaks to you, I think you should do it. I think you should share it.”

Thus, Kenner intends to continue acting and writing, looking for what he calls his next “passion project.”

An excerpt from a written project Kenner has been working on since his freshman year, entitled “The Standstill,” reveals how much passion he has for his craft. Kenner writes: “The mind of an artist is a dangerous one, for it creates and destroys without sympathy . We are not driven by the bread but by an innocent sunburned dream that gives us the courage to uncover an artistic inspirational truth that may very well be a remedy to cure the drained well of American unconsciousness.”

Ambitious and confident, Daniel Kenner strives to achieve success in a difficult field. Considering his achievements in theater thus far – including making it rain in Lisner’s Downstage – he shouldn’t have any trouble.

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