Faculty Focus: Nate Gross

Nate Gross, Director of Theatre, is doing great things at Kentucky Wesleyan.  Check it out!

Upcoming Musical

I have wanted to direct Sweeney Todd for years. Why, you may ask? First, Sondheim. He’s the best. Such a tremendous loss recently, but what a life!! That’s really enough, but there is so much more. It is not your average musical. The protagonist is essentially a serial killer, but his origin story helps the audience sympathize with him. The music is really difficult, but I have been so impressed with how all the actors have risen to the occasion. Dennis Jewett has really done a brilliant job as music director. They sound wonderful. I’m thrilled with our whole production team too. We have over 40 people, students, faculty, and community members working on this show. It takes a lot. It’s March 17 – 20 at the KWC Activity Center auditorium. Tickets are available at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/60414

Local Filmmakers

I’m excited about my students getting involved in film as well as theatre. There are some really good local filmmakers here. The industry is becoming more and more decentralized, so you can really live anywhere. That goes for actors and everyone behind the scenes. I’ve been fortunate to develop relationships with Shane Devon (https://tinkertone.home.blog), PJ Starks and Eric Huskisson (https://bloodmoonpictures.com), and Anthony Survant (http://anthonysurvant.com/film.html). KWC theatre students and myself personally, have worked with all these really talented filmmakers, and I think everyone has benefited.

My Hobbies

My favorite things to do outside of theatre are spending time with my family and exercising and eating. I love training and competing in triathlons and marathons, and I love eating so much that I don’t really look like I exercise as much as I do. I cannot wait for the second annual Owensboro Burger Week!

Favorite Course to Teach

A favorite course to teach is acting. I use an approach that seems quite different to most people who dabble in acting; it’s an obsession of mine. In a nutshell, the lines are memorized word-perfectly, but the behavior and the resulting emotion should be completely improvised and authentic every time. Each performance should tell the same story, but it will be slightly, perhaps imperceptibly different every time. I could go on and on about that, but that would out me even more as the acting nerd/snob that I am. 

Molly and Where I’m from

I’m originally from Michigan, not far from Flint, but lived in California for a little more than half my life, with a lucky two-year sidestep in Arizona where I found my co-conspirator, the other Professor Gross. I also lived in Georgia for four years and Paris for a semester, before arriving in my favorite place to live, Owensboro. Not being sarcastic, I love this town.