Christian Hernández Barragán ’24
Discovering the intersections between two disciplines miles apart is no easy path to take — but it is a rewarding one. Christian Hernández Barragán ’24, a government and theatre major, shares how he meshed his two favorite departments in his senior theses and study abroad adventures in London and Washington, D.C.

Christian’s answers have been abridged and paraphrased for the sake of brevity.

When did you first get involved with theatre?

I have enjoyed performing in front of an audience since I was a little kid. I began doing theatre — specifically acting and directing — in high school. After starring in a theatre production for the first time, my teacher pushed me to continue theatre. I chose to major in theatre at Hamilton after I took Theatre 100 and was cast in my first mainstage in my first year.

What other kinds of arts have you have explored, and how have they helped you discover things about yourself?

I started exploring music in high school by singing and playing instruments because I knew it was a useful skill in all areas of the theatre. When it comes to directing, music can be an essential tool to heighten a play and enhance a production’s storytelling. Exploring other areas of art like this has taught me that various forms of art can be used together. I can use my knowledge and skills in singing to influence how I do theatre, and vice versa.

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Christian Hernández Barragán ’24 (left) acts in the 2022 mainstage theater department production.
What do you like to do in the theatre space outside of acting?

I also love to direct — and I recently got to direct again for my senior thesis! I really enjoy being able to push actors to meet their full potential and have fun with the process. Furthermore, being an actor teaches me a lot about how best to approach directing certain stories. Aside from directing and acting, I have also explored set, lighting, and costume design, which has been invaluable in expanding my knowledge on theatre as a practice.

Have you done any internships or had any opportunities for experiential learning?

For a year in London, I studied acting at a conservatory program at the British American Drama Academy. The intensive courseload and theatre production completely transformed me as an actor, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I especially appreciated that I got to learn from new perspectives and ways of creating theatre that were different from the ones at Hamilton. I also got to see many different productions in London that introduced me to new theatres, playwrights, and actors. It was a wonderful experience and I am looking forward to one day returning to London!

Why government and theatre? How do you see them meshing?

My two majors have taught me that theatre is a strong tool for creating dialogue on very important issues. During my internship at the Kennedy Center, I worked in the government relations department to fight against the severe underfunding of theatre and the arts in general. Currently, I am in a Theatre for Social Change course, where we are learning about how social issues can be presented in the theatre. As I continue to do theatre, I want to create and tell stories that center  on contemporary political issues.

“My two majors have taught me that theatre is a strong tool for creating dialogue on very important issues.”

For my government thesis, I’m looking at how artificial intelligence is affecting the acting industry, specifically in theatre. For my theatre thesis, I directed a play called Our Lady of Perpetual Doubt by C.E. Glanville, which centered themes concerning LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church and the affirmative action ban in college admissions.

What do you hope to do after graduation?

At the moment I am hoping to teach theatre and continue acting. I am very passionate about teaching and continuing to learn and share my experiences with other artists. After a year of teaching, I am hoping to continue my graduate degree in England and pursue a career in theatre. I eventually want to become a professor in theatre, but until then, I am hoping to be a part of other exciting projects.

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