January 04, 2019

Alumni Spotlight: Catherine Heiner

Name: Catherine (Cate) Heiner

From: Salt Lake City, UT

Program: Honors BA Theatre Studies (also Honors BA Writing and Rhetoric, both class of 2017), emphasis in dramaturgy and playwriting

What I Do: Dramaturgy

How I Got Into It: When I was in high school, I loved English and theatre, and I could never decide which one I wanted to pursue to study. Then, I realized that if I did dramaturgy I could do research in both areas. I loved dramaturgy because I got to use my knowledge of performance, history, writing, and analysis to good use.

Experience at the U: During my time at the U, I was able to work on a number of productions. I worked on everything from Shakespeare to musicals to contemporary drama, which added a lot of variety to my experience. Working with so many different directors helped me understand how my position changes based on the needs of a specific production and creative team, and I enjoyed finding unique opportunities to collaborate with other artists in meaningful ways.

Favorite Utah Memory: I worked in athletics for all four years I was at the U. This made for a really interesting intersection between theatre and the rest of the university, and I used it as inspiration for a writing project in Tim Slover’s Intro to Playwriting course. After the semester ended, Tim told me my work had been selected for the New Play Workshop the following spring. Not only was the workshop itself an awesome experience, but I loved seeing the two worlds of athletics and performance come together for the staged reading. I loved being able to share my artistic life with my work friends, and it was awesome to see the actors reaching a new demographic on campus. It was the kind of cross-connection that benefits all departments and students.

Advice for Recent Grads:

  • Keep in touch with people you enjoy working with. (This includes professors and students.) You never know who will help point you in the right direction for your work.
  • Ask for help—there are other people out there who have had similar journeys.
  • Say yes as much as you can to as many different opportunities as you can. It will probably be scary and a little overwhelming, but it will also be worth it. Just keep breathing.
  • Stay humble, stay kind, stay grateful—the world is small and the world of theatre is even smaller.