Skip to main content

Student Spotlight: Maria Elena Maddy

Maria Maddy HeadshotName: Maria Elena Maddy

Class Rank: Junior

Major and Minor: BFA Musical Theatre and BA Dance

Hometown: Peterstown, WV

Why did you choose to attend WVU? 
I chose to attend WVU because my parents both got their Master's degrees in music here, so now it's my turn to walk the CAC's stages! I also fell in love with the MT program and how much we got to experiment with other elements of production, like costuming and makeup. The faculty here is also phenomenal, and the moment I stepped on campus, I knew it was the place for me!

What do you like about your major and your WVU experience? 
On the musical theatre side of things, I love the studio program and my personal voice lessons. The studio program has given me the opportunity to really dive into my work, as well as expand what I thought I was capable of; even though I may see myself in a specific role type, studio gives me a place to experiment with roles I may not have ever seen myself playing. My personal voice lessons are also one of my favorite parts of the week. Dr. William Koehler is my voice professor, and he has helped me to shape my voice in a way that is incredibly powerful and can do so much more than I thought possible.

On the dance side of things, I love the freedom of the BA program. I can take so many different dance styles, as well as study other aspects of dance, like choreography, which has become a huge passion of mine. This freedom also means being able to create and work on dance projects that are fully supported by the faculty outside of regular classwork.

What advice would you give to prospective students considering attending WVU's College of Creative Arts? 
Take risks! Don't be afraid to experiment in the work and try new things. You will be continuously surprised of where your teachers can guide you when you are willing to experiment, and you will be surprised of just how much versatility and ability is inside you!

Have you recently received any awards or scholarships? Have you recently participated in any competitions, productions, performances or exhibitions?

I just finished performing in Celebration of Dance, where I danced in three pieces and got to co-choreograph my own piece for the first time! 

Currently, I am playing the Mayfly Chrysalis in The Insect Play. Rehearsing for this play has been so fun and surprising; it seems like every time we have read through or run the show, a new discovery is made. This play has some heavy but important statements to make, but it is also still a comedy, so learning how to balance the two under Cornel Gabara's direction has been really beneficial as a performer. There is a lot of movement for my role, and Cornel gave me lots of freedom within the choreography, so learning how to bring the character to life within the movement, while also staying present with the scene and true to the play has been an amazing experience. It may be a lot of work, but it is so much fun to wake up and know that this is my job: I get to be a wiggling insect for the evening!