Under the bright lights

 K-State theater student’s love for the stage knows no bounds

When most think of the theater, they think of the stage, the lights, the production and the performers. For theater student Jackson Berland, the theater is more than a place — it is home. “Ever since my first performance in kindergarten, the theater has been my life,” Berland said. “The ability to tell a story, to make people feel and react, that is what I live for.” For Berland it is not just the stage that captivates him about theater, it is all that goes into the production that fuels his drive.

“Everything from the lighting to the production to the characters, everything about theater to me is not only captivating, it is magic,” Berland said. “The ability to create and develop characters in your own image, to be able to craft your own world and take people on the thrill ride of a lifetime, that is just as exciting as the art of performing itself.”

Berland is quick to point out though that his love of the theater is not random; it came from two loving and devoted parents and many theater mentors throughout his life. “Without my parents, Denise and Russ Berland, not only would I have not fallen in love with theater, but I would not be the man I am today,” Berland said. “They both have been so supportive of me and my dreams, and I am extremely grateful to have them as parents. I would be remiss if I didn’t also thank the many theater mentors, I have had who, without them, I would not have the thirst for knowledge of the theater that I do,” Berland said. “I owe them so much gratitude for all they have done.”

Berland pointed out that scholarships have helped him hone his performance skills and ability to connect with the audience. “Without K-State or their many scholarship opportunities, I never would have been able to live my dream to this level,” Berland said. “Thanks to these scholarships, I was able to intern at a radio station and learn how to communicate with an audience who isn’t right in front of me.”

Berland hopes to one day get into film production, but for now his focus remains on making a difference at the university he loves. “I want to be as welcoming to others as K-State has been to me,” Berland said. “I want to be the guy that everyone feels they can count on for support and relatability.”

By James Dalton Burton

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