Student Spotlight: Communication, Theater, and a Future


Courtesy of Gracie Kaine

Brooklyn Watts

Attending Indiana University Southeast is senior Gracie Kaine, who has great experience when it comes to speaking in front of a crowd.

Kaine intends on graduating with a major in Organizational Communication and a minor in Theater. The electives she took her first year of college led to the minor. “By the end of freshman year,” Kaine said, “I had taken Acting I and II, theater history, and been in a play. I almost had enough credits for a minor, so I knew that if I didn’t major in theater, I would want to minor in it.”

Upon entering college, Kaine was undecided on a major. After falling in love with writing speeches in public speaking, she realized that she had a gift for speaking in front of others. This is attributed to her experience in previous theater productions. Professor Jeff Boice asked Kaine if she had considered majoring in Communication Studies. “I had no idea what that even meant at the time,” she said, “but the further along in my journey I go, the more I love learning about conflict management, leadership, and research.” From then on, Kaine’s heart has been set on that major.

Joining the IUS theater department expanded Kaine’s connections. “Last summer, I got the opportunity to work on the Belle of Louisville with Charles and Lionel Nasby, who are both technical theater professionals at IU Southeast,” she said.

Kaine worked on the set as the assistant production designer for the show called Journeys to Freedom. Many of her friends have come from the theater department at IUS.

She has acted in two shows at IUS. The first was The Laramie Project in 2019 and the second was The Nerd in 2022. She has experience in costuming quick changes, acting, stagecraft, and design. “The design aspect came from my internship with Charles on the Belle of Louisville. The costuming aspect came from when I did some quick changes for Proof in 2021,” Kaine said.

She said that after graduation, “I do hope to keep doing theater in some way, but I am not sure if it will be my main source of income.” She was invited back to assist the Nasby family this summer at the Belle of Louisville show, and plans on continuing theater-related projects around a different career.

Note:  This story resulted from a feature profile assignment in Journalism J-200 “Reporting, Writing, & Editing I,” a course redesigned by and taught by Lydia Lum.