|Maggie Boyles as Kate in All My Sons.|
My travels often take me far from Chavagnes. But never so far that I can't keep up with events in and around that school's historic walls.
I've just now heard something of young Mary ("Maggie") Boyles, for example. (Although Chavagnes is a boys-only school, there are sometimes one or two exceptional daughters of teachers in the A-level class, just to keep the boys on their toes.)
I gather that Maggie enrolled this autumn at the University of Kansas where she is working toward a degree in theatre with a focus on performance.
Her efforts in this direction had been encouraged while she studied at Chavagnes. Because of the university's excellent reputation for developing young talent for the stage, Maggie chose it as the place for furthering her ambitions.
Hardly had she completed auditions for entry into the theatre programme but that her talent was being celebrated, at least so I'm told, far and wide across the campus. Apparently she had so impressed the judges that they wasted no time in casting her in the principal role of Kate in Arthur Miller's play "All My Sons".
Difficult to believe? Yes. But it's true. And there's more to come.
Remarkably she was alone among first-year students to have been awarded a lead. It's said that this unique for a freshman. "My hopes have been given a terrific boost," Maggie told us in telephone conversation from the campus at Lawrence, Kansas, after the curtain came down on the final performance. By the way,” she added with a natural dramatic flourish, “I've registered in Jewish studies as a minor.”
In a barely concealed expression of enthusiasm, the University of Kansas's Head of Theatre John Staniunas, member of the panel that auditioned Maggie, had this to say
"I found her to be incredibly honest and very giving as an actor. She really knew how to share the stage and be very true to her emotions."
Pennsylvania-born Maggie moved with her family in 2008 to a small village near Chavagnes. She participated in a wide variety of the College’s productions including Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and a trio of Shakesperean offerings: Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado about Nothing. This was complemented by a series of poetry recitations and dramatised readings throught the school year.
Her career ambitions took flight during the production of Macbeth staged by the College and Dr. Tom Conlon's direction of her in the role of Lady Macbeth. His comment reflects the general experience of Maggie's qualities:
"A real pleasure to work with; Maggie always gives 100%."
A rigorous schedule of preparation for her Kansas auditions was devised by Ken Asch who is responsible for the College’s programme of recitations and Shakespeare Week, so special thanks to him for his dedication.
“All My Sons” was the University of Kansas's second production this new season. For full information about the theatre department and future productions, please visit: