Cedar Hill Theatre Trio Set to Attend Theatre Teacher’s Alma Mater

Cedar Hill Theatre Director Bethany Kennedy has one key piece of advice for Cedar Hill High School Class of 2023 Theatre Scholars Larry Alexander, Quinlyn Hunt and Tyson Smith.

“Bring a winter jacket to Lincoln, Nebraska because it will be very cold,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy, the 2021-2022 Cedar Hill ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year who was born and raised in Nebraska, knows Alexander, Hunt and Smith will be in good hands at Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) in Lincoln.

Kennedy graduated from NWU, and some of her former NWU classmates teach at the university, which has a niche theatre program.

Alexander and Hunt earned full scholarships to Nebraska Wesleyan, while Smith is still awaiting scholarship information.

The trio auditioned before the university at the Texas Thespians Festival last fall in Grapevine.

“It’s one of the best theatre programs in the Midwest,” Kennedy said. “I tell our seniors to look at school performance opportunities as freshmen.”

If high school graduates attend a large university, they may not have an opportunity to perform in a production until their junior or senior year.

But Nebraska Wesleyan has more than 50 productions per year. The university has an enrollment of 1,706 – smaller than Cedar Hill High, but it is located in the State Capital (and second largest city) just 3.5 miles away from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with its 26,079 students.

Hunt has been part of Cedar Hill Theatre since he was in middle school.

“Going away to college can be a challenge, but it’s easier when you know people who will be there with you,” Hunt said.

Hunt said listening to Kennedy speak highly of NWU’s Theatre Program piqued his interest. He hopes to become an actor on Broadway and eventually return to Cedar Hill to teach acting.

Smith also hopes to be an actor. He’s interested in fashion and modeling as well.

Alexander, who had been a longtime member of the CHHS Choir, joined the Theatre Program last summer as a senior. He wants to act but would eventually like to become a casting director.