The following article is a reprint of an October 22, 2013 piece in the Penn State News. The original article can be found at http://news.psu.edu/story/292291/2013/10/22/academics/playing-lead-stage-and-classroom.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Andrew Adamietz, a College of Education senior studying secondary education, played the lead in a community theater production of “Les Miserables” this summer. In the process, Adamietz obtained a confidence-boosting experience full of learning and teaching that would prepare him for his future teaching career.
Adamietz has been performing in musicals since the sixth grade. Even though he was intimidated by his competition and avoided auditioning at first, he found himself in the spotlight for the first time in seventh grade. Now, Adamietz has played his dream role, Jean Valjean, in “Les Miserables” at the Winding River Players Community Theatre in Towanda, Pa.
Throughout his experience, his hard work, diligence and practice helped him recognize his own talents and develop an idea of what it means to be engaged and to be engaging.
“I had to find a way to connect to my cast members who usually feel ostracized by leads in any show,” Adamietz said. “There were children as young as 8 years old involved in the show who looked to people like me for theater etiquette as well as picking up the basics for performance.”
Jean Valjean inspired Adamietz to rethink his own life — the relationships he had, what he thought of himself and how he wanted to live his life.
“(‘Les Miserables’) is a story about a man that is not a hero and does not want to be, but is characterized as one nonetheless for just being a good person,” Adamietz said. “The show embodies the idea that ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’”
While Adamietz does not have any immediate future stage production plans, he does plan to expand his teaching moments and newfound confidence from the summer into a career. Adamietz is currently training to become a teacher as a Professional Development School intern at the State College Area School District.
After graduating, Adamietz wants to travel abroad to Cyprus to teach English to high school students through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship. He plans on teaching for a few years before eventually beginning his graduate work in education policy.