Rhodes junior theatre major Léerin Campbell has been accepted to the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, where she will study this summer in the Academy′s "Acting Shakespeare" program. RADA is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom. Kenneth Branagh, Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Tom Hiddleston, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Glenda Jackson, Vivien Leigh, Peter O′Toole, and Alan Rickman are among its alumni.
"I still can′t believe that I have received this opportunity. I am absolutely humbled and grateful to my professors, family, and friends who encouraged me to audition for the program as well as the outpouring of support I have received since I was accepted," says Campbell. "To study Shakespeare at one of the best theatre schools in the world is just phenomenal, and I hope to make the most of my summer there."
Born in Denver, CO, Campbell graduated from Hernando High School, where she was an accomplished actress. She co-founded and served as president of the school′s chapter of the International Thespian Society. In addition, she received acting awards from the Orpheum′s High School Musical Theatre Awards (“Seussical”) and the Mississippi Theatre Association′s Annual Drama Festival (“Almost, Maine”) as well as received a nomination from the Desoto regional Allie Awards (“All Shook Up”).
Campbell′s stage credits at Rhodes include “Urinetown,” “Prison Stories,” “Into the Woods,” “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” “As You Like It,” “Anton in Show Business,” and this semester she played Rachel Jackson in “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.” In 2013, she performed in the regional premiere of “The Left Hand Singing” at Playhouse on the Square’s TheatreWorks. She also has been involved in a number of student-led projects and showcases at Rhodes.
Since coming to Rhodes, Campbell has been the recipient of a Performing Arts Award from both the theatre and music departments and also was the co-recipient of the Mark Lee Stephens Scholarship for Outstanding Theatre Freshman. In addition, she works at the McCoy Theatre as the Rhodes Student Theatre Associate.
“Theatre is the reason I get up in the morning, and for me, Shakespeare is representative of what I love about theatre. I feel so fortunate because so many people don′t know what they want to do with their lives or what they are passionate about,” says Campbell. “Shakespeare inspires and excites me like nothing else in the world.”
While studying at RADA, Campbell will take classes from June to August that focus on physical performance, voice, stage fighting, singing, period dancing, as well as various Shakespeare Workshop sessions. The program has three presentations with sonnets at the end of week three; scenes, monologues and song in week six; and a final workshop production of one of Shakespeare′s plays in one of the RADA theatre spaces.
Campbell says she hopes to become a better Shakespearean actor as a result of studying at RADA this summer. "I know that what I learn there will stay with me always," she adds.