Hannah Hustad '16

Name: Hannah Hustad ‘16
Residence: New York, New York
Degree: Theatre performance, dance performance
Occupation: Musical theatre performer

Hannah Hustad '16, a musical theatre performer, is excited to reach solid ground after traveling on the high seas for the last couple of years.

Since 2017, she has spent time on and off Norwegian Cruise Line, where she has travelled around the world performing in Broadway-caliber productions, including “Rock of Ages” and “Jersey Boys.”

For now, the Clover, South Carolina, native has returned home to New York where she lives and spends her days auditioning, taking technique classes and working a number of part-time jobs to make ends meet between gigs.​ Like most performers, she is ready for her big break on Broadway but is content with the path her career has taken.

“I truly just want to travel and do cool things that make me happy. Broadway is a tough industry to break into and has never been my end all be all, so I'd rather get paid to travel around the world and get paid to do what I love,” said Hustad, who studied theatre and dance performance at Winthrop.

She has visited 30 countries over the last four years through singing and dancing gigs. She caught wanderlust as a student at Winthrop when she studied abroad at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, a market town in West Lancashire, England. While there, she studied theatre and aerial dancing.

“I absolutely fell in love with my dance program and am still actively pursuing going back to Liverpool to dance in their bungee-assisted dance company in the next few years,” Hustad said.

She recently returned to the Winthrop campus to teach a masterclass with current dance/theatre students. For her, it was a rewarding experience and an even greater moment for young hopefuls eager to learn about real life in the theatre business.

“I got really great feedback from the students about how much they appreciated learning and hearing from someone who's actually in the industry,” Hustad said. “I hope I can continue to serve as an inspiration and a resource for current and graduating students hoping to follow a similar path.”

Hustad remembers her own experiences as a theatre student; in particular, her dream role as Elle Woods in Winthrop's production of “Legally Blonde” in 2016.

“It was an incredibly challenging role and show that epitomizes what it means to be a triple-threat. I learned a lot and had a ridiculous amount of fun,” she said. As an undergrad, she understood early on that show business requires focus and dedication. 

“I was consistently moving and learning and growing. I sought out opportunities outside of the classroom and did a lot of research on my own in order to hone my skills and prepare for the future,” said Hustad, who was a TopCat cheerleader with the Carolina Panthers during the 2016-2017 season.

Follow Hustad's journey on Instagram: @hannahgreyhustad



T. Fulton Burns '99 found his passion in becoming a theatre arts educator