Name: J.P. McLaurin
Hometown: Greenville, S.C.
Year in School: Senior
Major: B.F.A in Acting
Talent runs very deep in the B.F.A Acting program at Coastal Carolina. Most of the students are standouts in high school who begin their freshman year at CCU. However, sometimes the program attracts established transfer students as well. This is where J.P. McLaurin, a senior from Greenville, comes in. He arrived at Coastal during the 2015-16 academic year because he wanted to polish his talents at one of the best programs of its kind while at the same time thriving in a liberal arts setting.
And thrive he has. In addition to acting in a couple CCU productions, including his starring performance as “Mr. Darcy” in Pride and Prejudice, he has also sat in the director’s chair. J.P. directed the Coastal production of Marisol and he is the director of Three Sisters, a Coastal Carolina show that will open next week.
But as mentioned above, J.P. came to Coastal for more than just becoming a better actor and director. He wanted to attend a university where he could obtain a solid liberal arts education while interacting with a diverse student body. J.P. enjoys the non-B.F.A classes he is enrolled in and takes advantage of ways to meet people outside of his discipline. A member of the Student Leadership Council and the #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Board, he has made many friends who quickly turn into his fans once they see his shows.
If you want to become a J.P. McLaurin fan as well, make sure to attend Three Sisters on either Nov. 15 or Nov. 16 next week. For full information, click here.
Q&A with J.P.
How did you hear about Coastal?: While training with the SITI Company during my freshman year, I expressed a desire to transfer to a different program. Two alumni—solo performer Leigh Hendrix and playwright Neal Utterback—suggested that I look at their alma mater, CCU! I had heard of the training program and the top-notch faculty, so I decided to give it a shot.
Why did you come to Coastal?: I wanted conservatory-style training within a liberal arts setting, a place where I could take risks, fail, and ultimately test my stamina. I wanted to find a sturdy base of collaborators and mentors and Coastal’s BFA program fit the bill. I have been able to wear a lot of different hats and expand the boundaries of my capability, as a student and as an artist.
Favorite professor: Dr. Tripthi Pillai! She is a Shakespearean goddess.
Favorite class: Acting 3 and Acting 3 Studio. These classes were focused on alternatives to realism. Each assignment was a challenge and I would not have been able to get through it all without my incredible cohorts.
Favorite aspect of Coastal?: The size of the community is just right! I see my friends on my way to class, but still meet new people daily.
Favorite aspect of living in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area?: The beach is right there! One of our performance venues at 79th Avenue is within walking distance to the ocean, and I’ve taken advantage of walks on the beach before a show.
Clubs/Intramurals/other extracurricular activities involved in?: In addition to production work with the Department of Theatre, I serve on the Student Leadership Council and the #CCUSocialMedia Student Advisory Board.
Do you work anywhere currently (either on or off campus)?: I work in the Dean’s Office in the Edwards College
Plans after graduation?: Keep working in the American Theatre. I’m looking to land in an artistic leadership role after college with plans to work toward a MFA in Directing.
What are your hobbies?: Watching a lot of Netflix and Amazon Prime (Current shows: Bojack Horseman, Transparent, and Nurse Jackie), reading (Current reads: The Alchemist, The Merchant of Venice, and Awakenings), and eating good food (Tupelo Honey, King Street Grille, and Mellow Mushroom).
Do you have any hidden talents?: Unfortunately, no.... or it’s still hidden?
Bonus Info: J.P. McLaurin was last seen as “Mr. Darcy” in CCU’s production of Pride & Prejudice. Other credits include Love's Labour's Lost and Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Picnic (CCU); Assassins and The Who's Tommy (College of Charleston); and My Name is Rachel Corrie (Fine Arts Center). Directing credits include Marisol (CCU/Upstage), “Catatonic” (Atlantic Stage New Voices PlayFest) and The Giving Tree (Fine Arts Center/Artisphere). In addition to his training at CCU, he has worked and studied at the Guthrie Theater, the SITI Company with Anne Bogart, and the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ. He is the recipient of the COHFA Dean’s Excellence Scholarship.