Haley Young ’08


Coming from a family with numerous Radford University alumni, and believing that Radford’s theater program was a “magical fit” for her, Haley Young ’08 knew “there was no other choice” when it came to where she would attend college.

After graduation, Young received her cosmetology license in order to do hair and makeup for theatre. Her most recent work has been with the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, where she served as the hair, wig and makeup designer for the Maryland premiere of Lolita Chakrabarti’s play, “Red Velvet.”

“The education I received at Radford University has definitely helped my career,” says Young. “I use the skills I learned there for my job every single day.”

Young adds, “Radford offers a wide variety of classes for specific fields,” which she says helped her prepare for her career. “My senior capstone project was designing the hair and makeup for the Arthur Miller play ‘All My Sons.’ I received a ton of hands-on experience that would prepare me for what I would be actually doing in my career.”

Young has had the opportunity to work with numerous different theater companies throughout the country, including the Signature Theatre Company in New York City, the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Northern Virginia, and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.

Young has an appreciation for her Radford University professors and she is grateful for all of the knowledge she was able to glean from them. “Instead of thinking of them as a random professor that you simply learn from, my perspective was a little unique,” Young explains. “I spent my entire time at Radford University with my professors and they truly helped me.”

Carl Lefko, who serves as the chair of the Department of Theatre and Cinema, helped plan and set up Young’s capstone project. “He really wanted all of us to be individually ready for the world.”

Monica Weinzapfel, who teaches design and make-up for the department, may have had the biggest impact on Young. “I spent the most time with her,” she says. “She taught me most of what I know about costuming, wardrobe, sewing, and stage and special effects makeup.”

Along with Lefko and Weinzapfel, there was David Wheeler, the technical director for the department, who taught Young everything she needed to know about technical theater, such as lights, how to build sets, painting, drafting and creating a scene plot. “He helped me when I had to do props for a show, and taught me how to safely use the fly rail and how to go up in an aerial lift in order to conquer a fear of heights.”

Young urges students to “try to have an open mind and find your true passion. If you close yourself off, you might not be happy with where your career takes you.” She adds, “Take your education seriously, but do find time to balance it with fun and outside experiences with people.

“More than just my career in theater, my education at Radford honed my critical thinking skills and that has aided me in being a well-rounded person who can think for themselves in any situation,” Young continues. “I think this is one of the most important things that came from going to Radford University.”