Setting the Stage

Setting the Stage

Family often helps write the script of our lives, and for Myles Hesse, family shaped the course of his academic career.

When Myles was in seventh grade, his three sisters were cast in a local production of Les Misérables. As the only member of the family not asked to be a part of the show, Myles vowed to be a part of every production thereafter. Now, Myles, a senior from Madison, Indiana, has held true to that promise. He graduates this spring with degrees in English and theater with a concentration in Playwriting, Directing, and Dramaturgy.

Myles “got bit by the theater bug” at a young age, but it was his experience at State that shaped his goals for his future career. “I have loved ISU through my years here because it allows hands-on and practical experience from the beginning,” he said. “While working on productions, I have been able to apply the theories and concepts I learned in my classes to a real-world context. Through the trust and responsibility ISU gives to its students, I have been able to continue growing as both an artist and a scholar.”

“My favorite part about Indiana State is the amazing connections I’ve been able to make with other students and professors and the personal attention I’ve been given as a student and an artist,” Hesse said. One of those connections, Dr. Arthur Feinsod, has helped Hesse earn a unique opportunity: the chance to have his original play produced and performed during the Department of Theater’s 2018-2019 production season. “I’ve worked with Dr. Arthur Feinsod so many times,” Hesse said. “He was my Theater 101 professor and my playwriting and directing mentor. He also teaches the class that I am the Teaching Assistant for.”

Hesse began to write the script for his original comedy, “The Lily and the Mantis,” during the fall of 2017. “I gave it to Dr. Feinsod,” he said. “He made notes on it and presented it to the faculty in spring 2018 as a potential part of the production season. I worked intensively with Dr. Feinsod, who is now the director of the play, and we began rehearsals in January 2019.”

Hesse’s play, “The Lily and the Mantis,” will be performed at the New Theater February 28 through March 3, but Hesse does not think the script will ever be stagnant. “I discover new things about the script every day, “ he said. “I will always be learning new things about these characters, how they talk, and how they interact.”

When the curtain falls on Hesse’s time at State, he knows that the show must go on. “It is my absolute dream to be a professor at a university while writing plays and having my plays be done,” he said. “I want to help other students and be the influence that my professors here have been to me.”

Indiana State University has had a huge impact on Hesse’s life, and he wants to continue that tradition. “Indiana State means being proud of what you put into the world,” he said. “ISU and the inspirational people I’ve met have helped to shape my worldview into an understanding of the importance of what we produce. With every play that I write, every student that I work with, every process that I work on, I am proud of the positivity and hope that I strive to put forth.”