McKenna Pontoli

McKenna Pontoli
“Oh, the thinks you can think!” exclaims the Cat in the Hat in Seussical, a musical based on the books of Dr. Seuss. Communication disorders major McKenna Pontoli, who played the Cat in the Hat in her high school’s production of Seussical, knew that she’d be doing a lot of thinking at Geneva College, but didn’t realize that she would also have a lot of opportunity to be involved in performing arts.

McKenna can sing, dance and act—and she does, indeed. During her time at Geneva, she has acted in two one-act plays, two feature plays, sung for the annual Geneva Theatre Banquet, and performed ballet in a production of Spoon River.

“I love to be performing in some way,” states McKenna. “My favorite thing to do would probably be dancing. I have taken dance classes since I was 3, and I cannot imagine my life without it.” But she’s also an accomplished vocalist: “I have sung in choir since I was in elementary school. I was involved in show choirs, concert choirs, and small group ensembles throughout High School.”

McKenna’s knack for acting blossomed during her high school years. She performed in multiple musicals, including How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Oliver!, Fiddler on the Roof and Seussical the Musical at the Beaver County Christian School.  McKenna even won Henry Mancini Musical Theatre Awards in 2011 and 2012.

Now that she’s at Geneva, the theatre program has found a place in McKenna’s heart. “I love being involved in Geneva’s theatre program not only because I am able to perform, but because of the people who are involved in the production: the directors, the actors, the stage manager, and the crew members. They are like my second family.”

McKenna uses similar language to describe her experience at Geneva. “If I need something or just want someone to talk to, there are countless amounts of students and professors who are willing to give their time for me. People actually care about me and how I am doing, and that’s comforting.”

McKenna chooses to give back to her Geneva family by being involved in Christian service in a variety of ways. She is currently the secretary of the Compass Club, which is a servant-leadership club that mentors first-year students and completes on-campus service projects, and a Student Activities Coordinator. “Geneva has provided me with endless opportunities to get involved. Whether it's my friends, professors, RAs, or others, I am constantly being encouraged and supported by people to get involved in the things I love to do.”

-Chris Strangfeld ’13

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