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Alum of the Month – November


Cassidy Kepp ’15 Creates a Better World Through Theater

When Cassidy Kepp stepped on stage for Oscar Night her senior year of high school, she could not have predicted where life would take her. As a die-hard drama student, Cassidy acted in many shows at O’Dowd and learned the role of theater in promoting social change.

“After working on Laramie Project, (a play about a gay hate crime), I saw the positive effect the play had on the school and greater community – changing people’s minds and hearts – and knew that was the style of theater I wanted to do,” she said.

Since high school, Cassidy has had her mind set on creating social change again through theater. With Fringe Benefits, a devised theater group, Cassidy wrote and directed productions with homeless women on Skid Row and children in Watts. “Working with people from disadvantaged communities makes the most real theater I know,” she said.

Through this work, Cassidy developed a passion for playwriting and has written three social justice plays with performances in London and Los Angeles. “I hope to make a social change all through the world and I know the best way to do it: Theater,” she said

Cassidy aspires to bring a social justice focus to all aspects of theater. Whether it is administration, playwriting or acting, she always has her eye on creating a voice for the unseen. “I learned invaluable lessons from O’Dowd about social justice and theater. I hope I can combine the two and share them with the world in my senior thesis,” she said.

Cassidy is producing a staged reading of Freezer Burn, a play she wrote about how the justice system handles rape. She hopes that through this play people can gain a deeper understanding of how to treat rape victims. This reading is being held November 9-11 at Foley Theater 110 at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where Cassidy is in her senior year as a Theatre Arts Major. (Reserve tickets by emailing freezerburnseats@gmail.com).

Cassidy credits O’Dowd teachers Sarah Tunik, Dennis Kohles, Trina Oliver and William McNeil for inspiring her to follow her passion. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for them pushing me to my limits, working with me for hours after class, all because they had faith in what I can accomplish. I can never thank O’Dowd enough for that,” she said.


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