Islander Student Pursues Passion for Musical Theatre

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Dreams are more than a fleeting thought – they are passions that give us purpose. For Kallie Hudson, a first-year musical theatre student, her life goal is to cultivate a career on the stage. At Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Hudson is diligently striving to make her dream a reality.  

“I’ve grown as an actress in the university’s music and theatre programs,” said Hudson. “In high school, we’re usually placed into a box – but my professors have helped me break out of bad habits and gain the training I need to embody many types of characters.”

By the time she graduated from Rogers High School in 2018, the Cameron, Texas, native starred in several theatre productions ranging in roles from Fiona in “Shrek: The Musical” to Wednesday Addams in “The Addams Family: The Musical.” She also participated in the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Department of Theatre and Dance Camp on the Coast prior to becoming an Islander student. As she grew older, Hudson says acting was the only profession she could see herself in.  

As an Islander, Hudson shows promise as an emerging actress. She recently won first place in the Lower Undergraduate Musical Theatre division for the South Texas District National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Student Auditions. The competition included universities from Texas cities like Laredo, San Antonio, and Austin, and had nearly 300 participants. In preparation for her audition, Hudson spent countless hours rehearsing one-on-one with her voice professor Dr. Hope Thacker and during breaks in-between classes as well as acting rehearsals.

“Our students work very hard every semester, and we’re proud to have had a student place or win in a category at South Texas NATS or the Texoma Regional NATS every year since 2013,” said Thacker, Assistant Professor of Music, Opera Workshop, and Voice. “The public recognition that Kallie has received for her dedication and wonderful music skills will encourage her to continue working hard. It’s rewarding when good people are recognized for their good work.”

For the competition, Hudson hand-picked a diverse set of three songs to showcase her skills as a singer: “Sing, but Don’t Tell” from “Island Song the Musical”; “The Light in the Piazza” from “The Light in the Piazza”; and “Dyin’ Aint`t So Bad” from “Bonnie & Clyde.”

“Musicals on Broadway aren’t all the same genre,” said Hudson. “Productions can be very pop like ‘Wicked,’ have a country vibe like ‘Bonnie & Clyde,’ or require more classical training like ‘The Light in Piazza.’ It’s important to highlight my ability to sing more than just one role.”

Her peers, Brooke Ngo and Joshua Quintanilla, who also participated in the NATS student auditions, placed as semifinalists in the Sophomore Women and Freshmen Men sections.

To see Hudson perform, check out the 40-Minute Play Festival from Thursday, May 2, through Tuesday, May 7, at Warren Theatre in the Center for the Arts. The festival celebrates the work of Islander students in the Department of Theatre and Dance and is comprised of 40-minute plays or scenes. Hudson is set to perform in “Time Stands Still” on Thursday, May 2, at 6 p.m. and “When We Were Young and Unafraid” on Sunday, May 5, at 11 a.m. Tickets are $5 for students with a SandDollar$ and $10 for general admission.