Introduce yourself and tell us when you graduated from Siena?
I’m Michael Kirk Lane (just Mike Lane back in my SHU days.) I graduated from the Adrian campus in 2005.
What academic program did you study at Siena and at what campus?
I majored in Theatre/Speech Communication with a contract minor in Musical Theatre (just to have something to fall back on)
What is the most important thing you want students considering Siena Heights to know?
Siena is a very special place. The sense of community on campus, fostered from the traditions given to us by the Adrian Dominican Sisters, is unlike anything my friends experiences at other colleges and universities. You will never be just a number at SHU, you’ll end up having dinner at professors’ homes, eating lunch next to Sr. Peg and the Deans, and be friends with students from all areas of campus and walks of life.
Still to this day, over 10 years after graduating, I am in contact with many friends and professors (now good friends) from my time at SHU. I make a point to visit with Mark DiPietro whenever I’m back in Michigan, and he’s been known to consistently school me in games of Scrabble and Words With Friends
How is this degree going to help you in the future or has it already helped you in your professional life?
The liberal arts tradition, and Theatre Siena’s philosophy of every student learning all areas of theatre, has made me much more versatile as an artist and in the work force. It has allowed me to , in between performance contract, always have a job somehow involved in theatre. I’ve taughttheatre to all ages, I’ve managed budgets for films and theatre projects, I’ve stage managed, I’ve house managed, and yes like most actors I’ve been a waiter from time to time, but even then I was singing in piano bars and cabaret spaces. I’ve even gotten a higher pay rate on perforamce contracts, because I knew my way around power tools from my hours in Theatre Siena’s scene shop.
Did this degree change your thought process in daily life or in your projects at work?
I am definitely drawn more to social conscious art, than I think I would be if it wasn’t for my time around the Adrian Domincans, and my time in discussion with Trudy McSorley on how theatre can change us and the world around us. Perhaps this is also the Siena Mission coming through my work as well.
Tell us about a project/show you are working on or something else that you wish to share with the Siena Community.
Last fall I did a three and a half month run Off-Broadway in Hell’s Belles. I also recently produced and stared in my own theatre piece/cabaret reflecting on some experiences I’ve had since leaving SHU. You can find the most current information on my performance schedule, and see some videos of recent performances at my website: www.michaelkirklane.com
Next up, I’ll be back in my role as Associate Producer for No Strings Productions as we do our next set of puppet films for children troubled or developing areas of out world. This time we will be working on Public Health and Natural Disaster awareness for children in Madagascar and South Sudan. Previous projects have included Trauma Healing and Peace Building for Syrian Refugee Children, HIV/AIDS Awareness for Children in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Trauma Heeling forChildren effected by the Tsunami a few years ago in Haiti. You can find more information on the work we do at www.nostringsproductions.org.