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DC Scholar Reconnects With Alum at Ford's Theatre

Theatre Major Finds Learning Opportunity at National Historic Site

July 18, 2014

Of the 34 students spending their summer in the nation's capital as part of the Cal State DC internship program, Tim Alexander is the only one perusing new works by celebrated playwrights and researching Abraham Lincoln. The 22-year-old senior (B.F.A. theatre arts-acting) is interning at Ford's Theatre, where John Wilkes Booth assassinated the 16th president in 1865.

In addition to the theater and historical museum, Ford's houses the Center for Education and Leadership. Among the biggest perks: working with CSUF alumnus Patrick Pearson '07 (M.F.A. theatre arts-directing), the theater's award-winning director of artistic programming.

"Patrick directed me in a show at Cal State Fullerton about two years ago," said Alexander. "I was just beginning to start producing and directing, and he started mentoring me. He's introduced me to so many professionals, artists, directors. ... Working with him is a joy."

Pearson is happy that Alexander was a top applicant for one of two summer internship positions available at Ford's. The opportunity to intern there, he said, provides invaluable experience. "You get a chance to really see what it's like working within a regional theater community in the United States — and as an alum, that's really where this comes in," said Pearson. "It's the idea of paying it forward. And I can't think of anyone more deserving for this opportunity than Tim."

Alexander, he added, proved that you don't have to be a political science major to find opportunities in the Cal State DC program. "Tim sought out this opportunity. As a student, that's the type of initiative that you need to have and that you need to take — creating your own opportunities," Pearson explained.

Alexander's internship is a unique opportunity to observe staff meetings and soak in the inner workings of a major regional theater and cultural center.

In addition to his classes, Alexander produces a musical every year for Financial Literacy Awareness Month, which has received financial backing from Bank of America. He is also a student assistant for the vice president for student affairs, and a Guardian Scholar. Earlier this year, Alexander won the "Guardian Scholars All Around" award for embodying true leadership, resiliency and integrity.


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