John Glowacki is a theatre student pursuing a BFA in Acting from the Peck School of the Arts. Madison-born Glowacki spent his youth in both Waukesha and Milwaukee before starting his studies at UW-Milwaukee. Now in his final semester, Glowacki appreciates everything the Peck School has offered him and is looking forward to life after graduation.
Glowacki recently starred in the UWM Theatre Department’s production of Blood Wedding, directed by Sheri Williams Pannell. He played Leonardo, the son of an enemy family that runs away with a bride-to-be and starts a fatal series of events. “Working with Sheri is so much fun,” he says. “She’s so passionate about what she’s doing. It’s infectious.”
Based on a true story from Spain, Pannell chose the setting of 1930s Cuba for this production. “I love that it’s set in Cuba, because I’m not Cuban,” Glowacki laughs. “One thing that I enjoy about acting is learning about other cultures, studying them and trying to portray them as accurately as I can. I feel very fortunate that the professors here who teach acting are very effective at helping us do that.”
Peck School theatre fans may have seen Glowacki in King Lear (2012), Three Sisters (2012), As You Like It (2011) and in various UWM film student productions. After graduation, he hopes to work in both film and theatre. He also plans to return to Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts where he studied for five weeks in the summer of 2011.
Alongside his theatre curriculum, Glowacki has taken courses in Peace Studies and Women’s Studies. “In these courses, we’re talking so much about all of the problems we have today, and so many of those are portrayed in this play,” he says. “I feel like I’ve been given the tools here to be able to learn and analyze these issues, and through the Peck School I’ve learned how to portray this in my acting.”
Glowacki’s favorite aspects of the Peck School theatre program have been his professors. “They’ve all been so special. I can’t imagine my life right now without them,” he says. “My main core BFA professors have taught me a lot, especially Rebecca Holderness, Bill Watson and Michelle Lopez-Rios.”
The biggest challenge in Glowacki’s education has been taking charge of it. “I think life, in a big sense, is like that,” he says. “Whatever anybody puts into it is what they get out of it.” Glowacki recognizes the value of his education and has big dreams for his future. “I would love to make a living making theatre, film and art,” he says. “I can’t help but feel there’s a chance that it won’t happen, but I feel confident that I will do whatever I need to do to make it happen.”
Through his years at the Peck School, Glowacki has developed some valuable insight. “It goes by so fast. I feel torn—I know I have time, but especially in acting there is a tremendous pressure to go out and make it happen now,” he says. “I think that pressure is there in a lot of fields. College is a place where people find out so much about themselves, what they want to do and what’s important to them.” His advice to fellow students is to “take the time to figure those things out. Go out and look for them, and take charge of your education.”