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Volume 26, Number 11 — November 2018

Arts for Youth Spotlight — Christian Tripp bitten by theater bug

Christian Tripp
Christian Tripp

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | April 25, 2018

Christian Tripp, a high school athlete, came to Emory & Henry College to play football. When his team lost in the playoffs, he decided to try out for the college’s production of “Chicago” and was cast as Billy Flynn.

“I loved it so much, and I was definitely bitten by the theater bug. I’ve been doing it ever since,” Christian says. He is a senior working on his B.F.A. in acting.

He enjoys serving an audience. “I get the chance to make the audience forget about the pressures of their lives for an hour or two. I get to inspire those around me to laugh, be brave and love. I can also affect so many people in so many different places. I have performed on the Emory & Henry campus, Barter Theatre and this summer I will be performing in Arizona,” he says.

Christian just finished a stint at Barter Theatre as one of the Barter Players, the group of actors who perform for young audiences.

“The Barter was one of the highlights of my career so far. I was brought in as a summer actor in 2017. I was able to live and work alongside other professional actors. I was cast in five different productions from leading roles to understudy roles for the Barter. I also worked backstage among the crew during their season runs of the hit show ‘Footloose.’ I loved working there, and I hope to work there again,” he says.

His influences are his professors, friends and family. “They have inspired me to get up and be brave enough to do this scary art form and dare myself to be good at it. I dedicate all of my success to all of them,” he says.

His favorite playwrights are William Shakespeare and August Wilson. The characters they put on stage are ones he enjoys playing, and he admires their poetic language. His favorite Shakespeare play is “Titus Andronicus.” His favorite Wilson play is “King Hedley.”

He is using his love of language to create a one-man show, “An Iliad.”

“’An Iliad’ uses Homer’s tale, ‘The Iliad,’ as a glass to view all wars. It is a beautiful contemporary piece that has so many hills and valleys. It follows The Poet (the protagonist), a Greek soldier who has been cursed by the gods to tell the story of the Iliad forever, hoping to make a change. This is a piece that addresses the outlook of how the human race views violence and rage. Is this something we can change? Why do we continue to have war? This is a play to open dialogue between people on any side,” he says.

He has been cast for the summer in William Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” at the Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival, and he has accepted a full ride scholarship to the University of Alabama this fall to receive his M.F.A. in acting.

Christian is from Richmond Virginia. He is the 22-year old son of Sydni Johnson and Arthur Tripp.