Senior Spotlight: Ryan Huxford

Posted on May 7th, 2020 by

The “Senior Spotlight” series honors graduating fine arts majors for their contributions to the Gustavus community.

Ryan Huxford is a theatre major with a minor in political science from Owatonna, Minn. After graduation, he plans on living and working in the Twin Cities area. Professor Emeritus Greg Aune and his wife Julie had the opportunity to get to know Ryan through his involvement in the Gustavus Choir and their annual J-term tours. “Ryan always exhibited unbridled joy in singing during rehearsal and performances,” they said. “We always sensed that he understood and embraced the overarching philosophy and mission of the Gustavus Choir, and the Gustavus Experience. His warmth and zest for life is compelling!”

We asked Ryan to give us a little insight into his time at Gustavus and how he’s continuing theatre while living at home.

What do you look forward to most about life after Gustavus?
RH: I look forward to making use of the skills and techniques I have learned at Gustavus in future creative projects. Hopefully I can make a career out of it.

What will you miss most about theatre at Gustavus?
RH: I will miss having a comfortable space to grow my performance experience. The opportunities I had both onstage and offstage allowed me to grow into a more well-rounded performer.

What’s a favorite memory you have from your time in theatre here?
RH: The whole show-run of Cabaret my sophomore year was a dream come true. I grew a lot from that show, and because of that, I’m forever thankful to the department for giving me that opportunity.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to high school students considering Gustavus?
RH: You will grow here. Sometimes you won’t know until the moment has passed, but the experiences you will have and the people you will meet will make you a stronger person both emotionally and professionally.

How are you continuing your theatre education in your new surroundings?
RH: I’m exploring new avenues of online performance as a way of adapting to the new circumstances. The cast of Mother Courage still plans on putting out work, so keep an eye out for that!

What has it been like to perform and act at home?
RH: At first, transitioning to home for performance was a punch in the gut. I really didn’t know how I could make fulfilling art from home. I quickly found out after making a project for a class of mine, that the feeling of accomplishment was still there. You can only go up, and as long as you give an honest effort, the product is worthwhile.

What professor has made the biggest impact on you and why?
RH: He has since retired and one of them wasn’t even a professor, but the former Gustavus Choir director, Dr. Gregory Aune, and his wife, Julie Aune, have made the biggest impact on my life during my time at Gustavus. Growing up, I never really had an opportunity to have a close relationship with my grandparents due to various circumstances. When I started my time with the Gustavus Choir, I quickly realized how much love and care Dr. A and Julie gave to the choir and all its members. They cared. They showed interest. They gave us humor. They gave us hope. Their actions and general interest they gave towards me and my peers made me feel like I didn’t miss out on that type of relationship after all.


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