Claremont, Calif. (April 1, 2013) – Pitzer College student Haley Brown ’13 has been awarded a 2013-14 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. The Watson is a one year grant given to a select group of college seniors to allow them to pursue unique independent study projects outside of the United States.
Brown’s project, “In the Moment: Expanding the Modes of Performing and Being through Improvisation,” will explore different forms of theatrical improvisation in multiple countries and contexts. Brown plans to study TheatreSports in Canada, Kathakali in India, Commedia Dell’arte in Italy and the Theatre of the Oppressed in Brazil.
“Improvisation is as ancient as storytelling itself, and its dimensions and possibilities for transformation are infinite,” Brown wrote of her project. “Improv knows no boundaries and in fact, it explodes them.”
Associate Professor of History and Watson adviser Carina Johnson said the Watson is often described as an opportunity to pursue your passion.
“Haley’s project beautifully encapsulates her passion for storytelling and improvisation,” Johnson said. “As a special major in narrative studies and an active participant in improv theater groups, Haley’s Pitzer experience leads directly to being ‘In the Moment’.”
Brown is a double major in linguistics and narrative studies. During her time at Pitzer, she did an internship with The Moth, an organization dedicated to live personal storytelling, and is currently the caretaker of the Grove House, a campus hub that is home to a popular café, the Ecology Center and the Hinshaw Art Gallery.
Brown was one of 40 students nationwide who received 2013-14 Watson Fellowships. Including Brown, Pitzer students have won a total of 30 of the prestigious fellowships. Each fellow receives $25,000 for twelve months of travel and exploration.
The Watson Fellowship is awarded to college graduates of “unusual promise” to “enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness and leadership and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community.”