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Casey Chapman
Name: Casey Chapman
Residence: Chicago, Ill.
Degree: B.A., Theatre; minor in broadcasting
Occupation: Marketing, Goodman Theatre; actor

When Casey Chapman ’04 stepped onto Johnson Theatre’s main stage during a campus tour, he knew immediately he wanted to study theatre at Winthrop. More than a decade later, with 25 theatre productions, two feature films, and three short films on his resume, the passion is still there.

“My goal is to do work that challenges me creatively and that I can be proud of,” said Chapman, who studied theatre and broadcasting at Winthrop. Right now, with the recent success of his first feature, Edward Pionke’s Mother’s Milk, Chapman’s having a bit of a mission accomplished moment. Chapman’s performance as troubled young statistics professor Claude Rainer has netted him best actor awards at the NYC Independent Film Festival and the International Film Awards Berlin. Mother’s Milk has earned awards at a number of festivals, including IFAB, the NYC Festival, and the Northwest Ohio Independent Film Festival.

The film’s recent successes on the festival circuit, Chapman explained, have given him the opportunity to travel and promote the independent feature.

“I have been really overwhelmed with this success – and it feels like I live two lives,” said Chapman, who works in marketing at Goodman Theatre in Chicago. “There’s the life where I get tour around the U.S. and abroad with a film I made – that hasn’t hit home yet. But I’m also able to ground myself, which I believe you must do as an actor.”

Chapman’s work also extends to short films. He co-wrote the short film Esperanto, which played at the Bloomsbury Park Film Festival in the U.K. and the Vancouver Film Fest in Canada. He has shot two other short films – Trupiak, a mystery set in a Polish women’s school, and Yellow, a modern-day Italian-style horror film – and a second feature film, Residuum, with Pionke. Chapman also has begun rehearsals for a new play (his first in more than a year), Sidney Michaels’ “Dylan,” about the life of poet Dylan Thomas.

The Greenville, S.C., native credits his Winthrop professors – particularly Russell Luke, Janet Gray, and Anna Sartin in the Department of Theatre and Dance – with helping him learn the determination needed to succeed in a difficult field.

“You must have that passion, and you're lucky enough to be at Winthrop working with some awesome professionals – don't give up on it after graduation,” said Chapman. “The more you do, the bigger risks you take, the larger the reward will be.”

Visit the Mother’s Milk website for more information about the film.

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