Jeremy Lee Cudd, a theatre and dance lecturer, claims to have been a bad actor at the beginning of his career. But he is now using the undergraduate acting project production of “Some Girl(s)” to teach undergraduate students how to avoid his mistakes.
“Some Girl(s)” tells the story of recently engaged Guy, who decides to travel the country to meet with his former girlfriends in an attempt to make amends before he begins his new life. While Hollywood romantic-comedies shy away from the messy aspects of love, “Some Girl(s)” tackles it head-on.
Cudd received his bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University in English literature with a minor in theatre. Cudd played drums/percussion for several musical theater productions, which is how he became interested in acting.
“There was something about the environment and the actors, their sort of weirdness,” Cudd said. “I really fell in love with it.”
Cudd felt like he hit a ceiling in his development as an actor, which is when he decided to pursue his master’s degree in acting at Penn State. Cudd said that he truly began to understand the basic elements of theater through graduate school.
“I didn’t know I wanted to be an actor until my last year of grad school,” Cudd said. “I started to branch out after that.”
Through “Some Girl(s),” Cudd aims to create a fundamental experience for his actors to grow and discover their own acting process.
“These projects are meant to be actor-focused. They are scripts that are stripped down in some way but still have story,” Cudd said. “These are the types of projects that I made the biggest leaps in my understanding of the process in graduate school.”
Marissa Forsyth, theatre and dance junior, who has a part in the production, appreciates the energy and enthusiasm that Cudd brings to each rehearsal and his method of directing.
“He has a way of speaking with students that’s so understandable and relatable,” Forsyth said. “He treats us as equals which sounds common, but being young, inexperienced actors sometimes you don’t get treated as such.”
Amanda Haight, Plan II and theatre and dance sophomore, plays one of Guy’s ex-girlfriends, Bobbi, in the production. Haight values the fact that Cudd focuses a lot on educating for a professional environment through the production.
“Often working in full-scale productions, it is lost that we are students, that we don’t know exactly what we are doing yet.” Haight said.
Cudd hopes that the audience finds the humor within the complexities and drama of the show as Guy explores his past failed relationships.
“Where people will connect with the show is relationship baggage, which is a universal thing,” Cudd said. “These are real human situations and some are funny because they’re true. People laugh at horrible and awkward situations because they are recognizable to them, and they understand how awful they are to be in.“
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