I am writing this letter in support of Aaron Thomas's application to your graduate program.
I have known Aaron well for a number of years. I am a specialist in Shakespeare, with an interest in theatre history and performance studies, and first met Aaron in connection with a staged reading of Henry VI-a condensed version of all three plays. I was immediately impressed with his professionalism, his beautiful voice control, and his sense of humor.
Aaron later was a student in my upper-division Shakespeare class, and in this capacity wrote two excellent papers and prepared a scene from The Winter's Tale, performing the role of Leontes.
In the year or so since his graduation, I have continued to work with Aaron, mostly through the series of staged Shakespeare readings the Cal Poly Theatre Department sponsors at the Pomona Downtown Center. The staged readings are a pressure cooker, with very little preparation time. I have seen him working as an actor, as an assistant, and once as a director on extremely short notice. Aaron was asked to direct Love's Labors Lost, quite literally at the last minute, and managed to do an excellent job while retaining the above-mentioned professionalism and sense of humor, not an easy task.
I was a stage manager before receiving my Ph.D in English. I know what working with a difficult actor or director can be like, and I can honestly say that I always look forward to working with Aaron. I am quite sure that he has the intellectual capacity, ability, and self-discipline necessary to attain an advanced degree in Dramatic Art.
Please contact me at (xxx) xxx-xxxx if you have any further questions, as I enthusiastically support Aaron's application and would be happy to talk to the committee about his qualifications.
Department of English and Foreign Languages