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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Profiles in the Arts: Morgan Yearick

Morgan Yearick, ’18, is most recognized for her versatility and untiring work ethic (Photo by Rose Weldon ’19).

Actress, singer, writer, and director on her life in the theater

“My first show was called ‘Zombie Prom,’” Morgan Yearick, ’18, grinned as she recalled being a member of the ensemble in her freshman year of high school. For her, the aptly-named musical would be the first production of many.

Yearick, a musical theater and philosophy double major, is an actress and singer with the SJU Theater Company and a writer and director with the Followed By a Bear student theater company. However, her interest in performing began long before “Zombie Prom.”

“I’ve been acting and singing since I was really little,” Yearick said. “I would just go around the house and make up plays and songs off the top of my head and perform them for my parents. But I had been dancing on stage when I was younger, and I didn’t perform in an actual show until I was in high school.”

After continuing to act in musicals such as “Footloose” and “Cinderella,” Yearick decided to pursue her passion upon her acceptance to Saint Joseph’s University, originally planning on majoring in International Relations with a minor in either theater or music. Following being cast in the ensemble of SJU Theater Company’s “Assassins” during her sophomore year, she opted to change her major. Since then, she has performed in the company’s productions of “Into the Woods” as Florinda the Evil Stepsister and “Carousel” as Carrie Pipperidge. Currently, she is in rehearsals as an ensemble member of the rock opera “The Who’s Tommy,” set to begin performances at the end of the month.

One of Yearick’s greatest strengths is her work ethic, according to Renee Dobson, associate professor of fine and performing arts who has also directed Yearick in all of her musicals at St. Joe’s.

“Morgan is very strong as an actress,” Dobson said. “She creates characterization really beautifully and works incredibly hard. She’s responsible, and brings a great intelligence to analyzing her work.”

While she is best known for her work as an actress, Yearick has also taken an interest in behind the scenes matters as the secretary of the student theater company Followed By a Bear, which she first joined during her freshman year.

“I just acted my freshman year in our one Night of Scenes,” Yearick said. “I started directing my sophomore year, because I decided to give script-writing a shot, and at that time you could direct your own script, so I did. It was called ‘Swipe Left,’ and it was about Tinder. I realized that I really enjoyed directing, and that’s what I’ve done with the club since then.”

Most recently, Yearick was cast as Bridget O’Doyle, the grief-stricken twin sister of a dead brother, in Followed By a Bear’s first original play, “A Wake.” Colin Mallee, ’18, the vice president of Followed By a Bear and co-head writer of “A Wake,” said that it was an easy decision to choose Yearick to lead the cast of such a landmark achievement in the club’s history, not only for her acting skills, but also for her leadership.

“I think her leadership skills have grown exponentially as a member of the executive board,” Mallee said. “She’s learned to be more confident in herself, and people have grown to trust her a lot more. She’s a valuable asset to our team.”

Yearick has also made efforts to take her love of theater outside of St. Joe’s. Last year, she founded Followed By a Bear Cub, a weekly service group that allows students interested in acting and directing to teach acting to the students at Samuel Gompers Elementary School.

“I came up with the idea at the end of my freshman year,” Yearick said. “We have the opportunity, with Gompers right there, so why not bring what we love over to the kids and share that passion with them?”

With such a visible passion for her art, it’s no wonder that Yearick is such a Renaissance woman.

“I think Morgan will be a success at whatever she does,” Dobson said, “Because of her intelligence and her work ethic, she’s willing to take chances, and I think that’s going to pay off for her.”

Yearick recognizes that her passion was the key to her success.

“The best piece of advice I’ve been given is to remember who you’re doing this for,” Yearick said. “Sometimes you have tough days, but you’re doing it for the love of the craft, and you’re doing it for the people you perform with.”

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