Many believe that life is a theater set and this is of no exception for sophomore theatre major, Derrick “Goose” Jansen. Jansen, who recently declared a double major in Public Relations, hails from Sully in south central Iowa. Starting at a young age, Jansen became interested in theater.
“I did little productions through grade school and then my seventh grade year they started a big production at one of the bigger schools in our area. I loved it so much that I did it the next year! So I kept doing all the shows in high school as much as I could. This was what I wanted to do—I wanted to be on stage for the rest of my career,” Jansen said.
Jansen’s time as a Northwestern theatre major entails a very busy schedule where free time can be scarce. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Jansen wakes up and showers around 8:00 a.m. before his 8:55 Spanish class. Like most other college students, Jansen values a half hour of sleep much more than a half hour of a would-be breakfast.
Around 11:50, Jansen attends a public relations class before going to his first theatre class of the day after lunch. Acting class from 2:10-3:10 p.m. with professor Karen Barker is a highlight of Jansen’s Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“She gets us up and moving, energized, and teaches us how to perfect our craft,” Jansen said.
Jansen’s schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays begins around 9:25 a.m. with another general course, Christian Story II. Early afternoon class and rehearsals are followed by a very quick lunch before Theatre Production Ensemble. This is a staple class for many theatre majors, because it gives students a variety of experiences within a production, both on stage and behind the scenes.
Another highlight of Jansen’s schedule is Sound Design with professor Drew Schmidt on Thursday afternoons.
As a hands-on class, Jansen said, “Drew makes it fun and such a party.”
Rehearsals take up most of Jansen’s time no matter the weekday. Much of the work that goes into a NW mainstage production takes place from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 12:05 to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Currently underway for the NW theatre department is a production of Ronald Dahl’s beloved children’s book, “Fantastic Mr. Fox.” Jansen has two roles in the show: Farmer Bean and Rat.
When speaking about his role as Farmer Bean, Jansen said, “It’s really fun! The farmers in my opinion are some of the funniest characters in the show, so I’m really excited for it.”
Most of Jansen’s free time is taken up by homework and line memorization for his current production, but he still tries to make time for movie nights or game nights with his friends in Hospers Hall. Jansen loves talking to people and joining in on all of the action.
“The theatre majors say they basically live at the theater, and yeah, I’m working my way into that,” Jansen said. “I’m kinda here a lot, but that’s all right because I like it here.”