Student Samantha Harrison knows what it’s like to wrestle with tough questions about faith, theatre and how the two intersect.
A native of Sunrise, Florida, she spent her summer “sharing the gospel through theatre” as an actor with YM360, a traveling ministry that serves youth leaders.
Harrison taught improv and theatre skills to middle and high school summer campers and performed in sketches that coincided with the sermons in nightly worship services. But more importantly, Harrison had an open, honest Q&A with the campers, who had questions about faith, theatre and college.
“A lot of the questions they had, I had at that age,” Harrison said. She left them with this advice: “If you surrender to Him, and you work hard, He’s going to put you where you’re supposed to be.”
Samantha Harrison shared her passion for theatre and the gospel as an actor with YM360’s GENERATE camp. Following the Lord’s path brought Harrison to YM360. She saw a flyer on the call board in PBA’s Theatre Department and on a Facebook group and quickly landed the position. Her team, which included two other actors, traveled across seven states in the Southern and Southwestern United States.
Harrison’s PBA classes “prepared me so well for the role I stepped into this summer,” she said.
Those classes included Acting 1 and 2 and Technical Theatre. In PBA Theatre, she was the assistant stage manager and deck chief in Peter and the Star Catcher and in the ensemble of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This fall, she will play Mrs. Gibbs in Our Town.
Harrison came to PBA seeking a small program where her professors would know her and where she’d have meaningful opportunities in theatre. It was important to her to study in a Christ-first environment where she could express her beliefs and where everything is done with excellence, she said.
“Excellence in art is a wonderful way of worshiping God but also representing Him well,” Harrison said.
Prior to pursuing theatre, Harrison played the piano competitively for six years – and she hated it, she said. Harrison began singing in a girls’ choir and auditioned for a drama camp at a local church. She landed the lead role.
She also has been part of a church cantata and the Torch & Trumpet Theatre Company, and it was after she joined the Torch & Trumpet Theatre Company that she realized she had a future in theatre.
See her in Our Town and explore PBA’s theatre program.
Photo 1: Theatre student Samantha Harrison performs in a sketch that coincided with the sermon in a nightly worship service at Impact360’s GENERATE camp. This summer, she was an actor on tour with the camp.
Photo 2: Samantha Harrison shared her passion for theatre and the gospel as an actor with YM360’s GENERATE camp.
Photo 3: Samantha Harrison taught improv and theatre skills to middle and high school summer campers. She had an open, honst Q&A with the campers, who had questions about faith, theatre and college.