Larry Cook is passionate about acting and has worked in theater his entire life. Larry teaches classes in the design and technology area of theater.
Larry Cook, professor of theatre, is passionate about acting and has worked in theatre his entire life, and now teaches classes in theatre design and technology.
Teaching his craft and designing for shows involves more than imparting what he already knows — he takes it upon himself to thoroughly research the background of his subject.
"The way each script and each production comes together brings a new set of challenges," he says. "Theatre is always growing, always changing and evolving, and yet its history is as old as ours. Every time I design for a show, I read the script, research the script itself, the author, the world of the play, all the different ways it may have been previously produced, artistic movements, style, mood, and anything and everything that might give me a foothold or a visual way to relate the story to an audience. There is no better feeling for a theatre artist than knowing that you have done your job well and an audience understands and appreciates the journey you are undertaking together."
Cook also had a hand in establishing the Bachelor of Fine Arts in design and technology for theatre, and he says they are seeing more and more success for the program and its students. For him, success for the students also involves embracing their communities and their own creativity.
"I hope my students learn to appreciate the power of the craft they have chosen to pursue and how much the elements of theatre are a part of man's endeavors," he says. "And I want them to be curious, and amazed by what their curiosity exposes them to. We want them to learn how their history classes, English classes, science and math classes, and all the others interlink with each other and how each finds foundation in the others. Seeing any of my students succeed in achieving their dreams and goals as a theatre artist is a personal highlight for me."