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drawing of The Krannert Center

The Krannert Center

We say Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Oscar-winning director Ang Lee says ... inspiring.

“That’s where I started devouring western drama, which laid the foundation of what I do today. It changed my life,” says the Taiwan-born movie maker, the brains behind ‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘Life of Pi.’ Krannert is also where ...

— The future U.S. ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina found her place. “My first week on campus, having just arrived from far-away New Jersey, I was lost,” Maureen Cormack recalls. “When a neighbor insisted on dragging me along to an interview for ushers at the Krannert Center, I grudgingly agreed, having no idea what it even was. From that day forward, it took over my life.”

It was at Krannert, Cormack says, that she “learned the power of the arts to bridge divides, both at home and around the world” and “laid the foundation for all that has followed.”

— The Rev. Peter Donohue, president of Villanova University, once worked as assistant house manager. “While there were many fabulous performances, the best entertainment was from the undergraduates who worked in the ticket office,” he says. “They kept us laughing.”

— NBC News executive Bob Epstein saw Duke Ellington, Massachusetts university president Javier Cevallos caught Luciano Pavarotti, and future Grammy-winning jazz pianist and composer Jim McNeely began his road to glory.

— A self-described “wide-eyed, small-town” future actress and author had her breath taken away by “the sheer scope and grandeur of the place.” And when Dr. John Ahart cast Lorraine Devon Wilke in a role that would earn her a trip to the Kennedy Center as an undergrad, “it allowed me to see what was possible creatively, what could be brought to life, what could both entertain and educate.”