taylors Theater and dance program enables students to engage in all areas of theatrical performance and production. Theater Arts Majors are encouraged to pursue their passions, wherever that may be. For Liannah Foster ’23, she found her niche in the art of stage makeup, and her work was recently awarded the American College Theater Festival’s Achievement in Hair and Makeup Award.
The theater dream
Foster discovered her love of acting when she was in elementary school, performing in local productions and singing on stage. She knew she was going to major in theater when she came to Taylor, and a conversation with her mother led her to gain experience in theater hair and makeup. Foster loves acting, but is aware that having more than one area of expertise in acting can help improve job prospects. She has always had an interest in off-stage hair and makeup, and she found on-stage makeup to be another skill to develop.
“I want to make sure people feel good no matter what stage makeup demands and that they feel good about themselves,” Foster said. “I understand that I have a job to do, and if an actor has to look like a mess, then that’s what we have to do, but I always want to make sure he feels good.”
Two respondents from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival attended the Taylor Theater production of Borrowed babies in September 2021. They were impressed with Liannah’s work, entered her work into the festival, and she was awarded the Outstanding Hair and Makeup Award by the American College Theater Festival.
Taylor’s pursuit of excellence on the stage
In February, the Taylor Theater played Kill a mockingbird, adapted from the novel of the same name. Foster did hair and makeup for the show and was able to expand her skills.
“We had black women on the show, myself included, and I had a lot of fun working with natural hair and showing the natural beauty of black women during this time,” Foster said. “Learning about the different textures and being able to make it look really pretty and simple was great. It was fun because people always say black hair is unprofessional, and being able to get out of that and let these women wear their hair naturally. – I think it’s really important to be able to show that on stage.
Christ in the heart
Foster’s time at Taylor taught him to trust God wherever he calls, even through the unknown or overwhelming.
“Sometimes I get a little nervous when I have to do bigger shows with more people,” Foster said. “I pray and talk with my mentors and let them know I’m fighting and ask them if they can say a prayer for me. As far as acting and my faith, I know that’s where God placed me, and there’s no doubt in my mind about it.
After graduating, Foster hopes to continue working with hair and makeup for Chicago theaters, and perhaps branch out into film or commercial work. She feels her time at Taylor has prepared her well for a world full of possibilities and is thrilled to see where God continues to lead her.
Interested in learning more about Taylor’s theater program? Click on here.